Agrochemicals are different chemical compounds that are mainly used in agriculture. Mostly, synthetic chemicals such as di-methyl amine and organophosphates are used as agrochemicals. Further, animal, plant manure are also used as agrochemicals. Agrochemicals are generally used by mixing with the soil and spraying on the crops. The primary functions of agrochemicals include protection of crops, improvement of crop yields, maintenance of the food & soil quality and modification of the growth process of plants. Based on these functions, agrochemicals are classified as pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers and liming & acidifying agents among others. Pesticides and fertilizers have had the largest share in the global agrochemicals consumption over the past few years. Apart from agricultural fields, agrochemicals are also used on indoor plants in domestic houses, on ornamental crops in nurseries and in animal husbandry.
Changing agrochemicals usage patterns followed by increased global population & consumer health awareness are the key driving factors of agrochemicals market demand. Population enlargement has resulted in increased food consumption. Hence a rise in demand for nutritious and quality foods is likely to occur over the coming years. This overall situation has led in extensive usage of agrochemicals, especially pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides and acidifying agents. Pesticides are used to manage and destroy pests, pathogens and other micro-organisms, while fertilizers are applied for advancement of plant growth. Insecticides are used as insect growth regulators while liming or acidifying agents are used to adjust the pH level in soils. However, prolonged use of agrochemicals has adversely affected consumer health and environment. Few of the diseases caused in humans due to agrochemicals include cancer, autism, asthama, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, agrochemicals not only get collected in surface run offs and ground water but also get transported through air over non targeted areas. Owing to such factors, new agrochemicals are emerging as substitutes. Pesticides & fertilizers are now being replaced by natural derivatives such as biopesticides and biofertilizers.
In terms of global demand for agrochemicals market, the developing countries in Asia Pacific region are expected to show a steadfast growth by the end of forecast period. China followed by Japan and India are anticipated to have favorable agrochemicals market by 2020. China is likely to show increased agrochemicals usage especially for maize, rice and soyabeans. In India, a similar scenario is anticipated since agrochemicals are mainly used for protection of cash crops, which include major cereals such as wheat, jowar rice as well as cotton and sugarcane. Rest of the world region including Africa and Latin America are likely to follow Asia Pacific region. Africa followed by Brazil is expected to have favorable import markets for agrochemicals owing to their partnerships with developed countries. Agrochemicals are generally required for crops such as cocoa, cotton and soya bean. Regions such as North America and Europe are anticipated to show a slow-paced growth in agrochemicals market by 2020. North America is likely to show better growth prospects due to increased use of biobased agrochemicals over chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Europe on the other hand is expected to show a declining growth by 2020, due to heavy government regulations and bans on certain chemical pesticides. Western Europe is anticipated to follow similar trend over the forecast period.
Few of the major key players dominating the agrochemicals market include Yara International ASA, Haifa Group, Bayer CropScience AG, Dow AgroSciences LLC, Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd., Gharda Chemicals Limited, Syngenta AG and BASF SE among others.