Because of concerns over climate change and the environmental impacts of farming, “greener” agricultural technologies are drawing the attention of regulators, producers and consumers, Lux Research says. Not all will be equally successful, however. While environmental concerns and regulation will boost biopesticides, no-till farming and biochar will not enjoy the same commercial success, the report says.
Green Dreams or Growth Opportunities: Assessing the Market Potential for ‘Greener’ Agricultural Technologies, examines the potential market opportunities for biopesticides, no-till farming and biochar as fertilizer. Among the findings:
No-till farming is small. The cropland under no-till farming methods will grow from 125 million hectares in 2012 to 400 million hectares in 2023, at a CAGR of 11 percent. However, most of the impact will come from behavior change by farmers, with limited opportunity for new or different product sales in the industry.
Biochar has potential, but needs a champion. Biochar, carbonized biomass used as fertilizer, has significant benefits for farmers and for the climate, but prices remain prohibitively expensive, and the market is small and fragmented. An industrial champion that could refine production processes and bring lower-cost biochar to market could change the game, especially if carbon prices rise.
Biopesticides offer new partnership opportunities. Incumbent pesticide developers should prepare to team up with biopesticide makers to offer a broader suite of products. Vestaron is a good example of a multi-pronged approach that advances a biochemical biopesticide, a transgenic plant-incorporated protectant (PIP) and a synthetic pesticide at one time.
PepsiCo, Unilever, Heineken and other members of the Cool Farm Institute last week launched an online tool to help farmers assess and improve the environmental and economic performance of their businesses.