Biological Alternatives to Chemical Pesticides

By Business Of Agriculture on 28 Jul 2018 | read

By: Chhagan Yadav, Meticulous Research™

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Biological Alternatives to Chemical Pesticides Biopesticides have long been used in organic farming, but their use in conventional farming is growing now as well. The biological pesticides, or “biopesticides,” that are made of naturally occurring substances derived from animals, plants, bacteria, fungi and minerals – like citronella, garlic oil and acetic acid. The great news about biopesticides is that they are virtually non-toxic to people and the environment. They usually target specific pests, reducing risks to beneficial insects, birds and mammals. Even better, they’re becoming more common – and that means that safer alternatives to control pests are becoming more widely available.

The biopesticides helps keep up with demand by helping agriculture to shift towards biopesticides, and minimizing risks to people and the environment. Many farmers use them as part of their Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs so they can rely less on higher-risk pesticides and effectively produce higher crop yields and quality with lower impact on the environment.

Over the last several decades, there have been tremendous efforts to improve agricultural yields through extensive application of chemicals that have long-lasting and profound effects on the environment and human being. Therefore, to feed the world population without damaging environment, the use of biopesticides is increasing significantly across the globe, driving the growth of biopesticides market.

The biopesticides market will grow at a CAGR of 16.3% during the forecast period to reach USD 7,626.3 million by 2022, driven by the increasing investment from leading crop protection companies in biopesticides market, growing awareness about environmental safety with the use of biopesticides, increasing organic farming and demand for organic food, and rising Government initiatives to promote the use of biopesticides across the globe.

The global biopesticides market is mainly segmented by type, application, formulation, origin, and crop type. The biopesticides market by type is further segmented into bioinsecticides, bioherbicides, biofungicides, and bionematicides. By mode of application, the market is segmented into foliar spray, seed treatment, soil treatment, root treatment, and post-harvest. Based on formulations, market is segmented into liquid formulation and dry formulation. By crop type, the market is segmented into fruits and vegetables, grains, cereals, and oilseeds.

With increasing consumer pressure on both farmers and supermarkets to minimise the use of chemical pesticides in fruit and vegetables, Biological products, known as biopesticides, can play a significant role in a more sustainable food chain. Chemicals also endanger workers’ health and can contaminate groundwater.

Biopesticides have a potentially important contribution to make to a competitive agriculture. They have the potential to increase consumer confidence in fruit and vegetables.

The markets have responded to consumer pressure by banning some approved pesticides, but have been slow to embrace biopesticides.

Biological control agents such as naturally occurring fungi, bacteria or viruses are applied in much the same way as chemical pesticides to fight insect pests, but have obvious benefits as they have little impact on other organisms, are compatible with other natural enemies, do not leave toxic residues and are relatively cheap to develop. These far outweigh the disadvantages of lower effectiveness and a shorter shelf life.

Importantly, risks, costs and benefits need to be shared out between the manufacturer, regulator, government and consumers.

There are alternatives to using pesticides. These are generally known as sustainable agriculture or alternative agriculture. Under these names there are several practices, some very old, that can reduce the need for, or substantially reduce, the amount or type of pesticides that you may use.

Alternative methods have been practiced for some time and include:

•Crop rotation


•Trap crops, which attract pests away from the valuable crops.

•Reduced use of chemical pesticides.

•Organic farming

Biological pest control, such as:


•Entomopathogenic fungi

•Bacteria and viruses

•The release of other organisms, such as natural pest predators and parasites

Geographically, the global biopesticides market is segmented into five major regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America commanded the largest share in the global biopesticides market in 2016, followed by Europe, and Asia-Pacific region. The major share of the North American region is mainly attributed to the rising concern over harmful chemicals on environment, increasing demand for organic food, and its most streamlined registration process. However, Asia-pacific region is projected to show lucrative growth potential for the biopesticides market during the analysis period. The growth in the Asia-pacific region is attributed to the increasing demand for organic food production, high prevalence of crop diseases, and government initiatives to develop and increase application of biopesticides in the region.

With the growth of the organic market, people are taking much more of an interest in what farmers use to control pests and the possible affects that the application of pesticides may have on the health of food, consumers and to the environment in general. However, without a means of adequately controlling pests, crop yields may fall or be of inferior quality. Farmers pursuing the goal of better returns obtained through organic farming must change their traditional ways of controlling pests. Others, not wishing to go the whole organic way, may be motivated by environmental concerns or by the cost of pesticides to their bottom line.

The leading companies have employed various strategies to expand their product & application offerings, global footprint, and augment their market share. The leading players in the global biopesticides market are BASF SE, Bayer CropScience AG, Marrone Bio Innovation, Certis USA L.L.C., The Dow Chemical Company, Monsanto Company (Part of Bayer), Isagro S.P.A., Camson Bio Technologies Limited, AndermattBiocontol AG, SomPhytopharma India Limited, Syngenta, International Panaacea Ltd, The Stockton Group, BioWorks, Inc., Novozymes, Inc., Koppert B.V., W. Neudorff GMBH KG, InvivoAgrosciences, Valent U.S.A. LLC, and FMC Corporation.

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