Agrochemicals is the generic name of chemical products used in the agricultural field. These include pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, nematicides, synthetic fertilizers, bio fertilizer, and chemical growth agents, among others. Increasing population and surging urbanization in turn puts additional pressure on the already diminishing farmlands. Agrochemicals help to effectively cultivate and manage crops to increase production. Thus, these factors greatly support growth of the global agrochemicals market. Various government and non-governmental organizations are focusing on addressing this global concern by increasing funding for programs related to the agricultural sector.
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The World Bank implemented 146 projects during 2014–2016, which provided agricultural services and assets to 17 million farmers globally, in turn augmenting growth of the market. The U.S., China, and Japan are the largest producers of agrochemicals, while North America, followed by Asia Pacific are the largest consumers in the global agrochemicals market. Population explosion in countries such as India and China, along with rapid economic growth in these countries is expected to position Asia Pacific as the fastest growing market for agrochemicals in the near future.
Global Agrochemicals Market Outlook – Surge in Food Grains Demand Augmenting the Market Growth
The global agrochemicals market is expected to be fueled by increasing global population and subsequent increasing demand for food grains. Moreover, rampant urbanization over the recent past has led to a steep decline in farmlands. According to 2017 Census of Agriculture, farm lands in the U.S. declined to 900,217,576 acres in 2017 from 914,527,657 acres in 2012. This increases adoption of duel cultivation, wherein various fertilizers are used to maintain the fertility of the soil and pesticides help improve crop yield. According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations forecast, world cereal production in 2019, was pegged at around 2,708 million tons, higher from 55.4 million tons (2.1%) in 2018. This scenario is projected to generate higher demand for agrochemicals over the forthcoming years.
Global Agrochemicals Market Challenges – Environmental and Health Impact
Despite its numerous advantages, agrochemicals are also associated with certain environmental and health issues. Excessive use of fertilizers has led to ground water contamination with toxic chemicals such as nitrate. Drinking of nitrate-contaminated water causes certain diseases such as immobilization of hemoglobin in blood, reduced oxygen supply, among others. Moreover, the pesticides used for pest control such as DDT, dieldrin, aldrin, among others have significant impact on environment and living beings. In the U.S., numerous wild birds die every year due to the use of an agricultural pesticides carbofuran. Carbofuran granules resemble the size and shape of grain seeds, which are the staple diet of most birds. The detrimental impact of insecticides and pesticides on the environment is expected to be the key challenge in the global agrochemicals industry. This has in turn led to increasing efforts by manufacturers and regulatory bodies alike to develop non-toxic natural pesticides and herbicides. This trend is further supported with increasing consumer inclination towards organic food products, which necessitate use of organic pesticides and insecticides. This is a perceived threat to the market, as most natural pesticides are homemade.
Key players in the market include Agrium, BASF SE, BAYER AG, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto Company, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Syngenta AG, The Mosaic Co., Yara International, Gharda Chemicals Ltd., Drexel Chemical Company, Qatar Fertilizer Company, Cf Industries, Israel Chemicals Ltd., American Vanguard Corporation, Rotam Corpsciences, FMC Corporation, and Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd.
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