The global aquaponics market is estimated to register a CAGR of 12.5% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The COVID-19 pandemic has majorly impacted the supply chain of the aquaponics market. Supply chain disruption amidst COVID-19 has led the farmers to rear a large number of live fishes and other aquatic species. This negatively impacted the cost, expenditure, and risk borne by the farmers.
In 2019, North America occupied the largest share in the aquaponics market. United States contributed the largest share in the region, followed by Canada. Currently, aquaponics is a small but rapidly growing industry in the region, with several partnerships among educational and research institutions, and private companies, playing a pivotal role in the establishment of and awareness about aquaponic farms in recent years. However, mass-scale production of aquaponic crops is yet to take form in the region, although farms, such as Superior Fresh and Ouroboros Farms, are at the forefront of commercial aquaponics production.
Key Market Trends
Substantial Demand for Organic Produce Driving the Market
Since aquaponics produce is free from chemical fertilizers and crop protection chemicals, with fish waste serving as the prime nutrients for plants, the demand for organically grown crops holds high potential and an untapped space for emerging aquaponic farms, as well as aquaponic system providers. Sales of organic fruits and vegetables rose by 5.6% to USD 17.40 billion in 2018 from USD 16.42 billion during the previous year, as reported by the Organic Trade Association, thus, leading the United States to become one of the leading markets for organically grown fruits and vegetables. Moreover, Europe holds one of the largest organic farmland areas in the world, with Spain accounting for the largest share with 2,246,475.0 hectares of the area under organic farming. As a result of the underlying scope for aquaponic farming in the organic produce industry, the European-funded COST Action FA1305 “The European Union Aquaponics Hub-Realising Sustainable Integrated Fish and Vegetable Production for the EU” strengthened the network between researchers and private players. Therefore, the demand for organically grown produce is further expected to drive the global aquaponic industry during the forecast period.
North America Dominates the Market
Although still a small industry in North America, aquaponic farming is expected to witness exponential growth in the coming years. In 2014, the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and Nelson and Pade Aquaponics, entered a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), for establishing an Aquaponics Innovation Center, as part of the UW-System Economic Development Incentive Grant. Such initiatives have played a pivotal role in raising awareness about sustainable farming alternatives, such as aquaponics, in the region. Additionally, aquaponics is expected to help rebuild the aquaculture industry in the United States in the future. In Wisconsin, the number of aquaculture farms recently rose from 2,300 to 2,800, with 300 out of the 500 new farms being aquaponic farms, as revealed in the Aquaculture America Conference in 2018. Currently, the United States imports more than 80.0% of the seafood it consumes, annually. The rising aquaponics farms in the country would help the country in reducing its seafood import gradually over a period of time.
The global aquaponics market is highly fragmented, primarily due to the evolving nature of the market. Some of the most active aquaponic farms are Superior Fresh, Ouroboros Farms, Garden City Aquaponics Inc., BIGH, Deep Water Farms, and Madhavi Farms, among others, while some of the major aquaponic input providers are Pentair Aquatic Eco-System Inc. (PAES), Nelson & Pade Aquaponics, Practical Aquaponics, Aquaponics USA, and The Aquaponic Source, among others. As the market is still undergoing expansion, the emerging players have been identified with strategizing product launches and capacity expansion in order to secure a substantial share in the market studied.
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