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The global market for agricultural inoculants is predicted to be driven by the need to scale up agricultural production to meet the expanding world population's food needs while also maintaining soil fertility. Furthermore, growers’ adoption of inoculants is increasing as more and higher-quality agricultural inoculants become accessible. The facts that agricultural inoculants help mitigate the detrimental effects of pesticide use on the environment, and that organically cultivated foods are becoming increasingly popular around the world, are likely to contribute to market growth. North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia are expected to be key markets.
Agricultural inoculants refer to agricultural amendments that employ useful rhizospheric or endophytic microbes to enhance plant health. Living soil carries bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, protozoa and nematodes, and creatures such as worms and insects. These organisms collectively influence the chemical and physical properties of soil. Complementing soil with compost or manure, sowing cover crops and rotating crops are practices that seek to maintain and renew organic matter, recycle and retain nutrients, and minimize soil diseases.
Microbial inoculants act as biofertilizers, bioherbicide, biopesticides, and biocontrol agents, and are employed as alternatives to chemical inputs. Microbial inoculants include bacteria, fungi and algae. Soybean, common beans, cowpea and maize are examples of crops commonly inoculated with microbial inoculants. Rhizobium spp.; Specific strains of Azospirillum, Azobacter, Bacillis, and Burkholderia; Mycorrhizae fungi; Pseudomonas spp.; and Bacillus spp. are examples of microrganisms used in biofertilizers. Bacillis subtilis (specific strains) and other Bacillus spp; Bacillis thurigiensis (specific strains); Trichoderma spp.; Pseudomonas spp.; Streptomyces lydicus, griseoviridis; and Gliocladium sp. are examples of microorganisms used in biopesticides.
The demand for agricultural inoculants is expected to grow with advancements in research and products, and modernization of the agricultural industry. In 2021, Novozymes BioAg launched a novel version of the Cell Tech Max inoculant (bacteria of the genus Bradyrhizobium japonicum) in Brazil. The product enabled the application of 2ml to fertilize a kilo of seeds, enhancing efficiency against conventional fertilizers such as urea, and remained stable for up to 27 months. Cell Tech Max replaced nitrogen fertilization in soybean crops, ensuring high productivity at lower cost.
In 2021, XiteBio announced a limited trial launch of XiteBio OptiPlus (a novel inoculant) for soybean. The product was a premium liquid biological inoculant co-pack that promoted nitrogen fixation and phosphate solubilisation for soybeans.
In light of the significant growth potential of the market, prominent firms are looking to expand capacities to strengthen their market position. For example, in 2021, Verdesian Life Sciences announced the acquisition of Cytozyme Laboratories, Inc. The acquisition was part of Verdesian’s wider merger and acquisition growth strategy aimed at upholding leadership across the nutrient use efficiency space.
Key Findings of the Report:
Market Analysis by Type, Microbes, Function, Crop Type, and Region:
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