Agrochemicals have been extensively used in modern farming to enhance crop yield, increase plant growth, neutralize the soil, and protect crops against pests. Farmers use various kind of agrochemicals including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and seed treatment chemicals to optimize their agricultural output. The global consumption of agrochemical is on a rise as arable land is shrinking due to rapid industrialization and population expansion. Although the market is experiencing rapid growth, the agrochemical market has its own set of challenges. The use of certain agrochemicals has been associated with environmental and ecological damages. For instance, excessive use of fertilizers can contaminate the groundwater with nitrate, making it unfit for human or livestock consumption. So, what are others challenges in the agrochemical industry?
The global agrochemical industry is governed by many national and international laws, which are increasing the cost of developing new products. Since manufacturers have to consider numerous regulations, there is a delay in the introduction of new products in the market. Additionally, different countries will have varying requirements. As a result, overseas companies need to submit technical grade registrations with the full dossier. Such processes further increase the complexities for overseas suppliers that have to conduct additional tests and studies to obtain approval for selling the agrochemical within the region.
Rising popularity of pest-resistant GM crops
The advances in genetic science have enabled crops to develop resistance to pests. These crops will be toxic to certain insects but safe for humans. As a result, such BT crops do not need agrochemicals and pesticides for it to grow. Pest-resistant GM-maize crops are widely used in the US and is further used in industrial-scale biofuel. The development and growth of such crops can pose a threat to the growth of the global agrochemicals market as they would not be required to be applied to BT crops.
Adverse agrochemicals affect
The prolonged use of agrochemicals is known to have adverse effects on human life, animal life, and general soil health. Some of the diseases such as autism, Alzheimer’s, asthma, and diabetes are known caused by the use of agrochemicals. In most cases, agrochemicals get collected in surface run-offs and groundwater and can move towards the non-targeted area. Such instances can negatively impact the health and safety of residents. Consequently, several regions have started imposing restrictions on the excessive use of agrochemicals and mandated stringent laws, thus, hindering the market growth
The growth of biological sector
Agrochemicals, from its inception, have been looked at with negativity by the general consumers. The harmful chemicals used in pesticides have been the biggest concern which might be dangerous for human consumption. As a result, consumers are switching to organic food, which is driving the growth of the biopesticides sector. The advent of microbial seed treatments on crops, such as corn, soybean, and cotton, are the major factors driving the growth of the biopesticides market. The growth of the biopesticides market will negatively affect the sales of agrochemicals.
High R&D costs
Developing a typical agrochemical molecule takes an average time of nine years with average spending of $180 million. During the same time, the market may witness newer innovations, or the competitors may come up with better chemicals. As a result, manufacturers in the agrochemical industry are struggling to cope with such high R&D costs.
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