The COVID-19 outbreak that started spreading from Wuhan, China, and became widespread across countries, has affected the livelihood of millions. Moreover, the pandemic has led to economic decline in various regions due to a lack of business activities. For instance, according to World Bank, due to COVID-19, the global GDP will decline by 5%. Thus, the pandemic has laid out a drastic impact on all industries and sectors in the market, while hampering the supply and demand of the markets, such as the bio-pesticides market.
Due to this disrupted market, various sectors have seen major changes in the consumption behavior of consumers. A change that stands out during these fickle times is the increased utilization of a variety of biopesticides in farming techniques. The major reason for such changes among the consumers as well various food product manufacturers is that bio-pesticides are considered to be much healthy in nature, to the soil as it does not have any harmful toxins which are present in the chemical pesticides which cause damage to both humans and the soil.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, the consumers have become more conscious about the intake of food and are trying to consume food that is healthy and nutritious in nature. The global market has seen an increase in awareness regarding various benefits of consuming organic and chemical-free product food. This demand has further splurged during the crisis of COVID-19, as organic and chemical-free products are said to be healthy in nature. This demand has directly impacted the global market of biopesticides as they are often used by organic crop growers and are toxic-free in nature. However, due to strict global restrictions on import and export of products and restriction in the movement due to nationwide lockdown the demand and supply of biopesticide products are hampered. Furthermore, this impact of COVID-19 is expected to diminish as the import and export will not further restricted.
The lockdown and quarantine measures applied to battle the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted the production and supply of plant protection products, such as biopesticides, subsequently influencing the market of crop protection across the world. Thus, due to such factors, the market of biopesticides has faced a lot of obstacles in the growth of the market.
Raw materials procurement is an essential factor for the preparation of biopesticide. The COVID-19 has created many restrictions on goods and transportation worldwide. Raw materials such as plant extracts, bacteria, fungi, viruses, among others are used as the raw material for the preparation of the biopesticide. The restriction of free transportation and movement has given rise to the increase in the price of materials. Thus, increasing the cost of the final product.
Organic farming is practiced in 186 countries, and over bout USD 71.5 million hectares of agricultural land are managed organically by approximately USD 2.8 million farmers. The global sales of organic food and drink reached more than 96 million euros in 2018.
Australia has the largest area, the countries with the most organic agricultural land are Australia (35.7 million hectares), Argentina (3.6 million hectares), and China (3.1 million hectares) which use biopesticides and other organic methods for farming.
Figure 1: Global Organic Farming
Organic farming has been significantly fluctuating due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These fluctuations will significantly impact the growth of the global biopesticides market, as biopesticides are often preferred over chemical pesticides for the cultivation of organic crops.
The pandemic has greatly impacted the global economy, which has resulted in a major breakdown across various industries. This disruption has followed through sectors, such as biopesticides, interfering with the supply chain and demand of the company. The economy with this major downfall can only be rebuilt by a combined effort of industry players, government, and consumers. The overall measures for the wellbeing of individuals have been incorporated, keeping in mind the isolation at home and by staying alert of the food and clinical supplies, especially for the underprivileged communities are being thoughtfully tracked by government across the country. Retaining and boosting immunity has become a major concern for consumers. For which consumers have been taken various precautions and actions to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, such trends and behavioral changes are expected to stick with the consumers even after the pandemic is over. Thus, it is expected that the overall market will grow furthermore after this global pandemic is over.