COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global market for Biofertilizers is projected to reach US$3.3 billion by 2025, driven by the growing focus of governments worldwide to reduce agriculture`s growing carbon footprint and make it more sustainable. This goal comes against the backdrop of the challenges involved in feeding a growing global population in the midst of progressively worsening climate change conditions. As pressure on food production and crop yields increase, there is an even greater need to make agriculture more resilient and efficient in an eco-friendly manner. Up until now, the quest for increasing crop yields has led to indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers. Overuse of fertilizers in modern agriculture has significantly impacted the environment causing soil runoff and erosion, contamination of water bodies, cultural eutrophication resulting from overabundance of nutrients in water negatively impacting aquatic life, development of abnormal algal blooms creating create "dead zones" on water, root burn of crops resulting from overuse, diminished plant health, and abnormal growth of insect populations like aphids which feed on lush leaves. Overuse of chemical fertilizers like urea tends to kill off essential soil bacteria and fungi that create organic nutrients essential for plants. In short, the lopsided focus on maximizing crop yield has finally taken its toll turning the world`s richest soils into infertile soils. The scenario is creating strong opportunities for biofertilizers, which are defined as the use of bacteria, fungus and algae as chief components. Bacteria, fungus and algae are chief components of biofertilizers. Azotobacter, Azospirillum, Phosphobacter and Rhizobacter are valuable in nitrogen cycling. They reduce dependence on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, provide better eco-friendly soil management alternatives, enhance soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity while ensuring safety and are effective even in semi-arid conditions.
The field of microbiome research is gaining new significance with stringent environmental regulations now driving clear research priorities aimed at harnessing plant microbiomes. New research studies are unravelling diverse microbiome ecosystems that can be leveraged to reduce the environmental impacts of food production. In addition, there is progressively greater understanding of plant interactions with microbes in agricultural environments. Several studies are underway to characterize various plant and microbiome genotypes for effective agricultural microbiome manipulations and management. Genomic surveys of plants have the potential to unravel information about fungal and eukaryotic microbes that have beneficial impact on plants. Unlike the current practice of inoculating plant crops with individual microbe species with mixed results, researchers are today trying to understand the benefits of fungal, bacterial, and eukaryotic symbionts. Several research studies have been initiated with a focus on studying plant microbiomes in an agricultural setting i.e. Unified Microbiome Initiative, Genomic Standards Consortium, Earth Microbiome Project, National Microbiome Initiative, among others. All of these efforts will help bridge the knowledge gap in current understanding of the functional roles of microbiomes, and will also pave the way for standardization of data collection, processing and analysis. The market for Biofertilizers will therefore benefit from the development of new microbiome systems for crop plants. Commercialization of crop probiotics will bring in massive opportunities for robust growth in the coming years. It is exciting times ahead for the global biofertilizers market, as scientists` inch closer towards leverage microbiota in ways that can revolutionize agriculture. The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 55.7% of the market. The U.S also ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 12.1% over the analysis period supported by the country`s massive investment commitments towards encouraging agricultural innovation, sustainability and digital transformation.