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The global demand for bio-fertilizers is expected to rise because of growing consumer preference for organic food. Factors such as increased health consciousness, environmental awareness and rising disposable income are causing an extraordinary demand for organic foods globally. Due to increase in demand for food and decline in the total arable land, growing adoption of soil fertility management continues to increase, giving a major rise to the bio-fertilizers market, owing to their environment-friendly and chemical-free nature.
Bio-fertilizers are increasingly in demand and are vital components of organic farming. Bio-fertilizers enhance crop yield and fertility of the soil, hence becoming the preferred choice for organic farmers.
Bio-fertilizers are made from human, organic and animal wastes and are sustainable in nature. Bio-fertilizers consist of microorganisms such as algae, bacteria and fungi, alone, or in combination, and they enhance nutrient availability in plants by fixing atmospheric nitrogen and dissolving the phosphorus present in the soil. These substances contain living microorganisms which promote plant growth by increasing the supply or availability of primary nutrients to the host plant. Bio-fertilizers are supplement to chemical fertilizers; they are cheap and can reduce the cost of cultivation.
Various bio-fertilizers such as rhizobium, azotobacter, and azospirillium are used for soil and seed treatments. The various microorganisms used as nitrogen-supplying bio-fertilizers are azotobactor, rhizobium, actinorhizae and azospirillum. They are used for leguminous as well as non-leguminous crops such as rice and sugarcane. . Phosphate-solubilizing bio-fertilizers are widely used after nitrogen-fixing bio-fertilizers. Phosphate-solubilizing microbes secrete organic acids, which lowers the pH in the soil, so as to degenerate phosphates in the soil. Species of pseudomonas, aspergillus, bacillus and penicillium are the various phosphate solubilizing microbes.
The global bio-fertilizers market can be categorized on the basis of different type of bio-fertilizers, type of crop and type of micro-organism. Based on type of bio-fertilizers, the global bio-fertilizers market can be divided into nitrogen-fixing, potash-mobilizing and phosphate-solubilizing bio-fertilizers. Among the various types of bio-fertilizers, the nitrogen-fixing segment dominates the market, as nitrogen is the most vital organic nutrient for plants. On the basis of type of crop, the global bio-fertilizers market can be divided into, cereals and grains, pulses and oilseeds, and fruits and vegetables. On the basis of type of micro-organisms, the market for bio-fertilizers is divided into azotobacter, azospirillium, rhizobium, cyanobacteria and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria.
Increased demand of bio-fertilizers from emerging markets is a key trend in global bio-fertilizers market. An increase in the demand for bio-fertilizers from emerging countries such as India, China and Brazil is likely to positively influence the market growth. Low-income countries adopting healthy and sustainable agricultural practices are estimated to fuel the growth of the biofertilizers market.
Though chemical fertilizers increase crop production and yield, their overuse harms the environment and the soil, which is a key restraint in the global bio-fertilizers market. Some of the hazardous impacts of bio-fertilizers include decreased soil fertility, hardened soil, release of harmful greenhouse gases and polluted air and water.
Major competitors in the global bio-fertilizers market are Novozymes, Symborg, Labiofam, Agri Life, Ajay Bio-Tech Ltd., Antibiotice Iași, Biomax Life Sciences Limited and others. Ajay Bio-Tech Ltd. is concentrating its resources on western markets along with the Asian markets, as it believes that demand for bio-fertilizers in western countries will rise due to the extra emphasis laid on organic food and eco-friendly agriculture practices.