The European Seed Treatment Market is projected to register a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period (2020-2025). Growing population and the need to meet the food requirement increasing productivity is inevitable. By origin, the non-chemical or bio-based seed treatment is growing at the fastest rate during the forecast period due to the shift in preference for organic products. The demand for treated seeds is high in Germany, as cereal crops, like maize, barley, and fruits and vegetables, like grapes and sugar beet, are cultivated on a large scale in the country. Ban of GMO seeds, demand for higher yield, and the government’s discouragement in the use of chemical products in the region are encouraging the use of biological seed treatment products.
European Seed Treatment Assurance Scheme (ESTA) is a quality assurance system to ensure that seed treatment and the resulting treated seed meet requirements defined by legislators and industry. The move comes as the seed industry seeks to preserve essential plant protection products, protect the environment, and to maintain international trade and ensure on-going investment.
Several big players, like Syngenta International AG, Bayer CropScience AG, Philagro France, Germains Seed Technology, and few others, occupy a major portion of the market studied.
Key Market Trends
Decreasing Arable Land
The growing population and rising demand for food have accelerated the practice of seed treatment to increase productivity. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2019, Cereals are the major crops cultivated in the region, followed by grains, pulses, fruits, and vegetables. The growing population and the increasing domestic and international demand for such crops in the market are driving the market studied. The seed treatment in the region is most widely used on the cereals and grains, and hence, this segment holds the largest share in terms of volume of the overall seed treatment market.
The area under the cultivation of these crops is decreasing year after year. Hence, to meet the increasing demand, farmers are opting for treated seeds to increase the yield despite the decrease in the cultivation area. For instance, as per FAO, in 2016 are under cereals was 121.5 million ha that has decreased to 117.4 million ha in 2018. Also, the area under grains decreased from 58.3 million ha to 56.2 million ha during the same period. Additionally, the ban on GMO seeds and the need for enhancing productivity is encouraging the seed treatment practice. Thus, the decreased arable land in the region is anticipated to create an increased demand for treated seeds in the market.
Biological Seed Treatment is the Fastest Growing Segment
European countries and increasing demand for the organic farming market in Europe is increasing the demand for non-chemical seed treatment products. According to Eurostat, in 2018, the total area under organic farming in European countries covered 13.4 million hectares of agricultural land and it continues to increase further. Also, the organic area made up 7.5 % of the total European agricultural land in 2018. Four Member States accounted for more than half of all organically farmed land in 2018: Spain (16.7 %), France (15.1 %), Italy (14.6 %), and Germany (9.1 %), together making up 55.5 % of the total EU-28 organic area. In 2017, these four countries represented a share, 54.7 %.
In 2017, Germans focused to develop pre-emergent seed technologies, such as organic seed treatments for spinach, that provide protection against pests. One treatment provides early-season protection against Pythium before the plant even emerges. The increasing demand for organically grown products resulted in the adoption of organic farming practices which will drive the market of biological or non-chemical seed treatment products. Thus, the growing awareness about organic farming in the region is resulting in the increasing area under organic farming at a rapid rate.
The seed treatment market is fragmented with a large number of regional and international players. The major players in the market include Syngenta International AG, Bayer CropScience AG, Philagro France, Germains Seed Technology, and few others, occupy a major portion of the market studied, having a diverse and increasing product portfolio. Companies are focusing majorly on new product launches, mergers, and acquisitions, which help in increasing their market shares. The development of bio-based seed treatment products has massive potential for expansion during the forecast period, with advantages, like environmental sustainability and lesser regulations for development, and the launch of new products.
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