Europe is the second-largest consumer of biofertilizer and held a 30% share of the global biofertilizer market in 2019. Owing to the imposition of stringent regulations on the use of chemical fertilizers in Europe, the use of chemical fertilizers tend to be replaced by biological fertilizers. The European Union is continuously encouraging the use of biofertilizers since they are cost-effective, advising the farmers to optimize the application of chemical fertilizers or replace them wholly or partly with eco-friendly ones to result in better economic return. The EU Common Agricultural Policy promotes the adoption and use of bio-based products, along with organic farming, and provides up to 30% of the budget as direct green payment to farmers to maintain sustainable agricultural practices. The growth of the European biofertilizer market is mainly due to the rising penetration of biofertilizers in agriculture and the growing demand for organic products.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Practice for Organic Farming
The demand for biofertilizers in the region has been increasing due to the increasing practice of organic farming. In 2017, the major countries based on organically farming land were Spain (16.6%), Italy (15.2%), France (13.9%), and Germany (9.1%). In 10 European states, arable land crops accounted for more than 50% of the organic area, followed by permanent crops and permanent grassland. The newly revised regulation in Europe related to organic production encourages the sustainable development of organic produces. According to Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW), the organic food market in Germany grew to EUR 9 billion in 2016, and at the end of 2016, there were 27,000 organic-production holdings in Germany. The rise in demand for organic products is booming due to an increase in consumer awareness about the toxicity of synthetic fertilizers. In addition to this, increasing incomes, along with improved farming practices, make organic yields more robust. Thus, the increasing demand for organic food has increased the area under organic farming, resulting in increased demand for biofertilizers.
Spain Dominates the Biofertilizers Market
The Spanish market majorly influences the European region. The Spanish biofertilizers market was estimated to value USD 91.4 million in 2018. Researchers from the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (UPM-INIA), Madrid, developed a method to obtain clean organic fertilizers that can regenerate degraded soil caused by overharvesting, in 2015. They have developed a technology to produce a biofertilizer from the chitin of the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects. These innovations are further driving the biofertilizers market in Spain. The rise in the cost of synthetic fertilizers also has, in turn, led to the high usage of bio-based fertilizer products in Spain.
The European biofertilizer market is fragmented. Companies are adopting various strategies, such as product launches, partnerships, and acquisitions, to gain a larger share in the market. Investments in R&D and the introduction of new products are the primary strategies adopted by all major companies involved in the biofertilizer market.
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