Integrated Pest Management farming methods get a boost in Europe

The biologicals market for crop protection products has seen healthy global growth in recent years. However, in Europe, there is still frustration at significant regulatory hurdles to approving products successfully.

Sixty years after Rachel Carson wrote her seminal work Silent Spring, there is optimism that, at long last, there is a change in the deployment of more environmentally friendly farming methods, as consumers, growers, and governments become increasingly aware of the negative impacts of over-use of certain inputs on the land.

The global Biological Control Agents (BCA) market is estimated to be worth around US$3 billion and growing at a rate of 7% per annum. It comprises around 1000 active ingredients (Ais), distributed between four sectors: microbials, plant extracts, semiochemicals, and macrobials. Of the four sectors, microbials is by far the largest, accounting for around 60% of the world market.

Europe and North America each account for around 30% of the market, with BCAs accounting for about 8-9% of each market. Asia and Latin America account for 20% and 16%, respectively. Europe has achieved this share despite having a less favorable regulatory environment than most other regions.

Over 500 companies are currently involved in the BCAs market. They range from large, highly diversified companies, agricultural input companies, agribusinesses, and specialist biologicals companies, whether start-ups or established.

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