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The Interrelation Between Organic Food Growth & the Global Biostimulant Market

Biostimulant is known to enhance soil microflora and raise the intake rate of nutrients in a more efficient manner by modifying the abiotic stress tolerance and handling the crop quality traits, irrespective of nutrients availability. Facilitation of nutrient translocation, their assimilation, and uplifting the soil fertility by triggering the interdependent correlation between the soil micro-organisms are some other functions of these substances. Biostimulants began its journey with a single utility in organic food production & gardening, but currently, it has been playing a key role to improve the effectiveness of conventional methods for agricultural. Day by day, they are increasingly being considered as a solution to the all-consuming user demand for ‘softer’ agricultural practices.
Due to the increasing requirement of food for the increasing population and their additional preference for safe farming practices, the global demand for organic food is observing an exponential growth rate in the double-digit range. Organic food and its related byproducts currently hold approximately 5% to 10% of the food market, which varies across many regions. Organic farming is defined as a knowledge-intensive procedure employed for agriculture. It employs the sophisticated procedures involved in the biological systems for building up the soil fertility and manage pests and weeds by applying ecological principles. The escalating size of health-conscious consumer base across the globe in the present times, opt for the organic vegetables and fruits mainly to reduce or rather, completely eradicate the adverse health effects as a result of the latter’s exposure to the chemical preservatives or the people consuming the genetically modified inorganic food. In response to such demand for organic food items that puts minimal impacts on the environment, farmers search for more efficiently available ways to raise mineral content in the soil that would raise the productivity of the yield as well.
As organic food products are grown without the use of synthetic chemical compounds in the form of pesticides or fertilizers, the use of plant biostimulants has been amplified. Subsequently, the increasing popularity of organic farming drives the demand for biostimulants, as most of them are obtained from natural sources and their use as enhancers. The organic farming procedure forms a small part of the aggregate agrarian land development; therefore, a variety of biostimulants are used to eliminate the damages brought forth by biotic or abiotic stress at different stages of organic farming. These substances can also incorporate uniformity of the yield, expand the size of the respective crop, and can help maintain the consistency in taste and colour of the crop, which can readily help the farmers to raise the prices for the said enhancements in qualities for the food items. Moreover, biostimulants help maintain superior organic product setting that harvests a greater yield that is compatible for transportation and storage. For instance, seaweed extracts are used in the form of composting for soil amendment to improve the overall crop productivity and soil fertility.
The poor farmers based on the densely populated countries of Asia Pacific, South America, and Africa have started adopting several organic techniques that would minimize the environmental impact. But the demand for organic products rides on the public acceptance and awareness about biostimulants among the farmers, which is rising at a significant pace with the backing from favourable government policies. There is an increased price war among the competing players that are operating in the global market. There are other regions as well, such as Europe, whose many governing bodies are rapidly administering the uptake of biostimulants in their agriculture sector. For instance, the European Biostimulant Industry Consortium (EBIC) is consistently promoting the practice of sustainable agriculture. For example, a study carried out by EBIC reveals that a minimum of 8.5 million hectares of European land was required to be treated with biostimulants in 2016. Measures like this can bring forth new opportunities for crop growers in European countries to start practising organic farming.
The South American company, Agroenzymas SpA, which is located in Chile, has an extensive portfolio of more than 35 products in the biostimulant categories. It designs and trades a certain formulation as Biostimulant, called Maxiroot, which kindles the growth of new roots that enhances the soil penetration for water and nutrient absorption. This further increases the production of growth-promoting hormones inside the plant that enriches the yield. There also exist many trade agreements, which have lowered the import cost among the distributors who sell to the farmers in these regions to retain most of the supply chain profits. Intensive research is necessary to find the appropriate bioactive compounds that can function as the raw materials for new product development, which can be derived from natural products, integrating with organic farming techniques. Accessible sources like certain waste products, such as seaweed and shrimp carcasses are mainly used, but a clear demarcation & definition is still absent for the biostimulants due to complexities that entail the sources. Their product launch takes at least two to five years to enter the market, since its initial conception.

Inkwood Research

Author: Inkwood Research

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