In order to achieve a heathy plant growth, it becomes necessary to protect seeds against disease causing microorganisms. Hence, this calls for effective seed treatment technologies that include application of seed coating formulations, contributing to promoting healthy crop yields.
The market is predicted to surge during the course of the forecast period due to the growing need for the adoption of advanced seed treatment methods for enhancing the crop quality. As seeds are considered the powerhouse of nutrition, there are several biotic and abiotic factors that affect the seed quality and thus cause a huge impact on the plant quality as well. Physical factors such as dust and temperature affect the seed quality. For example, high temperature leads to seed desiccation and thus affect the embryo. Additionally, there are certain biotic factors as well that are known to cause harm to seeds, these include bacteria, fungi, pests, insects, and nematodes.
The health of seeds is of prime importance in order to achieve healthy crop growth and in sufficient quantity capable of feeding the increasing global population. The growing global population along with the soaring food demand is generating need for seed treatment technologies, further contributing to propelling the global seed coating market growth over the next five years. As per the FAO predictions, it has been projected that the world food demand will continue to rise by around 70% by the end of 2050. The global cereal demand for both food and animal feed is estimated to grow from around 2.1 billion tonnes in 2009 to attain a volume of around 3 billion tonnes by the end of 2050. The major factor for the increase is attributed to rising global population along with the rising consumer incomes especially in the regions of Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. According to the World Bank Statistics, the population worldwide increased from 7.254 billion in 2014 to reach a population size of 7.674 billion in 2019.
Source: The World Bank, Global Population, in billion
Seed coating is utilized as a tool for delivering plant beneficial microbes. This include plant growth promoting bacteria, like rhizobacteria, thus, reducing the use of synthetic agrochemicals and encouraging healthy plant yields. It has been noticed on a wide scale that by utilizing high amounts of inoculum per cultivation area, large-scale applications of plant beneficial microbes were inhibited. With the use of coated seeds containing exogenous materials in low quantity, the seed coating process continued to gain traction as an efficient delivery system for beneficial microbes. Seed coating with microbes can be done by using a binder, in some cases, filler mixed with inocula in a simple mixing equipment is performed. Binders or fillers are used for the extension of microbial survival. The common types of seed coating include seed dressing, film coating, and pelleting. Hence, with advances in agriculture techniques, the market is projected to surge in the forecast period.
Source: FAO, global cereal demand for food and animal feed, in billion tonnes
Several research studies assessing the seed coating formulations for their potential to contribute in increasing plant germination is further offering favourable market growth prospects during the forecast period. One of the research studies aimed to investigate biostimulant seed coating formulations where red clover and perennial ryegrass seeds were coated with different combinations of soy flour, diatomaceous earth, micronized vermicompost, and concentrated vermicompost extract. The coated and non-coated seeds were then evaluated for germination and growth. It was reported that the coated treatments improved the germination rate and uniformity without reducing the total germination in comparison to the non-treated seeds of red clover. On the other hand, in the case of perennial ryegrass, the total germination percentage of all the coated seeds declined and delay in germination rate was also noticed, in comparison to the non-coated seeds. However, the shoot length, seedling vigour, and seedlings dry weight of the coated seeds for both the crops were comparatively higher than the non-treated ones. In addition, by utilizing increasing proportions of soy flour in the form of seed treatment binder contributed to increasing the integrity and compressive strength of coated seeds, also, it increased the length of time for the coatings to degrade. The data proved that seed coating technologies that incorporate nutritional materials and biostimulants are highly capable of increasing seedling growth. These coatings have the potential in facilitating the establishment of cover crops in agriculture and land recovery, further fueling the market demand.
Companies collaborating for the development of high-performance seed coating solutions are further contributing to soaring the growth of the global seed coating market in the forecast period. According to a recent information in 2018, Royal DSM and Amulix, a developer of starch-based solutions for agricultural and industrial applications along with the daughter company of Dynaplak announced that they entered into a partnership for the development of high-performing bio-based coating solutions for agricultural starter material. The companies aimed to work together by the company name DSM-Amulix, the high-performance coating solution will be designed under the brand name, Amulix. The new offering containing high quality innovative bio-based seed coating solutions are biodegradable. The company, DSM-Amulix is based in Netherlands and is maintaining a global presence via DSM. The company is focused on delivering a sustainable alternative to the present practice of utilizing synthetic seed coatings that are polymer based. The innovation is better in performance and these bio-based coatings are capable of lowering the carbon footprint, in addition, the seed coatings are providing a viable solution to the microplastic pollution issue.
The current covid-19 is predicted to impact the market growth adversely in 2020 due to the measures taken at the international level for preventing the spread of infections. The lockdown, and self-quarantine measures have led to a decrease in workforce in several seed processing industries. There is a shortage of quality seed products at the global level. Also, due to the preventive measures taken by the government, there is a reduced market access for seed producers, agro-dealers and farmers. This has further resulted in increase in prices making it unaffordable for farmers. Additionally, quality assurance process is hampered and early generation seed production is also restricted. The overall seed industry is severely impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic, further impacting the market growth negatively in the current year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Vibha Saklani is a Market Research Analyst at KSI, working on the estimates and global reports on multiple industries spanning from IoT to food and beverages, with a special knack for healthcare, medical devices, and related markets. With the addition of her formal education in Biotechnology and having a research background, she is able to shed more light on the detailed analysis of the story. To read more articles by her, and for more information regarding multiple global markets, visit www.knowledge-sourcing.com.