The global BCA market is experiencing strong growth of 7% per year
The global market for biological control agents (BCAs) is estimated at approximately $3 billion and is growing at a rate of 7% per year, significantly higher than the rate for conventional crop protection products. We expect the BCA market to reach $6 billion by 2030.
It includes approximately 1000 active ingredients divided into 4 sectors: microbial, plant extracts, semiochemicals and macrobians. Of the 4 sectors, microbials are by far the largest, accounting for around 60% of the estimated $3 billion market, followed by macrobians, plant extracts and semiochemicals.
Market growth is driven by several drivers: environmental, social and governance (ESG); pulling from the food chain; agricultural policy; fast-track regulatory systems for BCAs; growing pressures on conventional crop protection products; insect, disease and weed resistance to conventional crop protection products; innovation and technological advances.
This great notoriety is accompanied by significant media and analytical coverage. The current conflict between Ukraine and Russia has once again demonstrated the fragility and vulnerability of global food supply chains, and crop protection is no exception here.
The European Commission has already called for an increase in domestic planting of cereals and oilseeds this year, which will require larger supplies of conventional and organic crop protection products, as well as other key inputs such as fertilisers, biofertilizers and insect pheromones for integrated pest management. (IPM).
On the other hand, there are some restraining forces, such as the narrower spectrum of biological activity of many BCAs compared to conventional broad-spectrum crop protection products, the ongoing challenges with stability and shelf life , and the complexity of IPM systems incorporating BCAs, which requires a higher level of training, education and stewardship.
Europe and North America each account for approximately 30% of the BCA market, with BCA accounting for approximately 8-9% of these regional crop protection markets. Asia and Latin America represent 20% and 16% respectively. Europe achieved this share despite a less favorable regulatory environment than most other regions. This may be about to change with new regulations recently introduced for microorganisms.
Over 500 companies are involved in the BCA and biostimulants market, with many companies selling both types of products. These include large diversified companies, agri-input companies, agri-food companies, and companies specializing in organic products, both start-up and established. By our estimate, few companies currently generate more than $40 million in BCA sales.
The market is highly competitive, with relatively low barriers to entry compared to conventional crop protection. For flagship products, there are several suppliers and brands. The challenge for many “long tail” companies is to develop innovative or differentiated solutions and establish market access channels. A large amount of venture capital is flowing into the sector, reflecting the growing attractiveness of the sector for investors.
Editor’s note: The summary bullet points for this article were chosen by the Seeking Alpha editors.