The global population is mushrooming rapidly. The global population has risen to 7.674 in 2019 from 6.922 billion in 2010, according to the World Bank Group. In order to fulfil their diet needs, the production of food must also be increased given the limited amount of resources such as land and water. Mechanization of agriculture enables the conservation of these resources and other inputs by ensuring their efficient distribution. Modern farming practices with mechanization has also resulted in a subsequent reduction in the unit costs of production through higher productivity yields while focusing on input conservation.
Global Total Population Data, in Billion, 2010 to 2019
Source: The World Bank
The period between planting and harvesting is one of the most crucial stages of the crop production. The use of fertilizer is necessary for the uptake of required essential nutrients for the proper growth and development of crops while the use of pesticides is of utmost importance to eliminate weeds and infestation by pests and insects. The world demand for fertilizer nutrient use is expected to increase to 201,663 thousand tonnes by 2020 from 184,017 thousand tonnes in 2015, as per the statistics provided by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. With growing cases of pest and insect attacks on crops, there is a constant need for the use of efficient farming equipment to spray pesticides. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs), resulting in the rise in global temperature are, in turn, is further growing the spread of pests and insects in crops. There has been a continuous rise in the loss of crops like maize, rice, and wheat due to insects as the global temperature is shooting up. A team of researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Colorado Boulder conducted a study which revealed that crop losses is estimated to be most acute in areas where the population growth along with the metabolic rates of pests and insects tend to rise due to warm temperature. The step of controlling weeds and pests, along with the application of fertilizers, calls for the application of chemicals. As such, an agricultural sprayer has become an important part of farming process in modern-day crop production.
As per the WHO (World Health Organization) data, more than thousand pesticides are currently used around the world to ensure the safety of food crops from different pests and insects. As such, the world’s pesticide trade volume has witnessed an uptick from 10,230,567 tonnes in 2015 to 11,552,828 tonnes in 2018, according to the FAO statistics.
Global Trade Volume of Pesticides, in Tonnes, 2015 to 2018
Source: The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
However, this high amount of usage of pesticides is dangerous for both human health and the environment. Despite their use on land, pesticides, many times, make their way into the water source which leads harm to the whole ecosystem. Also, according to the WHO, pesticides are among the leading causes of death by self-poisoning, especially in low- and middle-income countries as they are intrinsically toxic and spread in the environment. Farmers and agricultural workers are the most at-risk population who are directly exposed to these harmful agrochemicals. Many studies have proved the link between pesticides and diseases such as cancer, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and even birth effects. Also, with the excess use of chemical fertilizers, the soil fertility is declining.
While sprayers were once a niche product, today these equipment have become an essential piece of agricultural sector for effective crop production and protection. With the proper and efficient use of these chemicals using different type of sprayers, farmers can protect their crops from getting affected by pests and insects while increasing the agricultural yield and protecting themselves from the high exposure of these chemicals. The spraying of fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides is traditionally done by a farm worker carrying a backpack type sprayer which requires more human effort. With growing adoption of modern farm equipment, the demand for agricultural sprayers which are easy to use and operate is booming at a remarkable rate.
Different agrochemicals can be distributed evenly with the use of mechanized spraying machines and equipment and thus, reduce the wastage of the input while protecting the environment. Unlike traditional spray technology, which requires excessive amount of pesticide use to control the infestation of pests and insects, new precision agricultural sprayers allow the application of the optimum amount of pesticide. Hand-held sprayers, airblast sprayers, and aer.
Drones are also getting more and more popular these days as effective and efficient agricultural sprayers. The use of agricultural drones for spraying is accelerating in countries with advanced agriculture such as the United States and China. Moreover, the relaxation of regulations regarding the use of drones in many countries is also paving the way for drone manufacturers to capture this spraying segment of agricultural equipment market.
Global agricultural sprayer market players are launching new products in the market in order to diversify their product portfolio as per the changing market conditions. For example, the global drone leader DJI launched its crop-spraying drone in 2015 as a way to expand from consumer and camera drones into the agricultural industry. The Japanese drone manufacturer FLIGHTS Co., Ltd developed its own cost-effective drone for spraying pesticides in 2019. Also, John Deere expanded its 4-Series Sprayers by introducing its biggest sprayer so far- the 1,600-gallon capacity R4060 Sprayer. Defensor 2500, launched by New Holland, is an advanced agricultural sprayer which is designed to protect Brazilian crops.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anjali Joshi is a senior market research analyst at Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence. She oversees a team of analysts and is known for the quality of market intelligence she delivers to the clients which range from start-ups and Non-profit Organizations to Fortune 500 companies. Anjali’s keen understanding of international business and market dynamics, coupled with her years of experience working in this industry, allows her to analyse current and future trends across both global and clients’ target markets and help them in making informed decisions.