The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) projects that the global population will rise from 7.7 billion in 2019 to 9.7 billion by 2050 and approximately 11 billion by 2100. The expanding population base will create extensive pressure on the farmlands due to the surging demand for food crops. To meet the rising need for food crops, the agrarian community will adopt a considerable volume of agricultural micronutrients to increase the productivity of farmlands and nutritional value of crops.
Additionally, the burgeoning demand for high-value crops, such as ornamental crops, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and horticulture crops, on account of the soaring public awareness about the benefits of healthy eating, will help the agricultural micronutrients market accelerate at a CAGR of 7.5% during 2018–2023. The market was valued at $5,848.0 million in 2017, and it is projected to generate $9,009.2 million revenue by 2023. For instance, the Foreign Agriculture Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture states that the U.S. exported lettuce, onions cauliflower, potatoes, and sweet potatoes worth $1.2 billion in 2020.
Besides, the increasing shift of the farming community toward contract farming will also facilitate the consumption of agricultural micronutrients in the upcoming years. In contract farming, farmers enter into an agreement with processing firms to produce and supply farm produce at predetermined prices. This agreement also puts the onus on the processing companies to provide technical expertise or raw materials to the farmers. In recent years, this type of agreement has gained prominence in developing countries, such as India, due to numerous government initiatives on contract farming being introduced in such nations.
Currently, farmers are applying boron, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc through the soil, foliar, and fertigation to produce better quality oilseeds and pulses, cereals and grains, and fruits and vegetables. In the preceding years, zinc was consumed in the highest volume as it contains numerous proteins and enzymes and facilitates metabolic processes, such as elongation of the internodes and production of hormones. Additionally, zinc also increases the production of agronomic crops and improves diseases control in plants.
In contemporary times, FMC Corporation, SAPEC SA, Haifa Group, The Mosaic Company, Akzo Nobel N.V., Coromandel International Limited, Sinochem Group, Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited, and BASF SE are the leading producers of agricultural micronutrients. Currently, these companies are focusing on geographical expansions and product launches to cater to the needs of the farming community. For example, in July 2018, Haifa Chemicals Limited introduced the Multicote Micro, a range of coated micronutrients, for its existing and potential consumers.
According to P&S Intelligence, the Asia-Pacific region led the agricultural micronutrients market in the last few years, and it will retain its dominance in the forthcoming years as well. This can be primarily credited to the low biofortification of farm produce and high micronutrient deficiency, on account of the rigorous sowing and reaping cycles in the regional countries, such as India and China. In addition, the rising awareness about micronutrients among farmers, owing to the increasing number of government initiatives aimed at educating farmers about the advantages of these chemicals, will also encourage the usage of these addendums on farmlands.
Therefore, the surging world population and the soaring popularity of contract farming will augment the consumption of agricultural micronutrients, globally.