Global trends in the development and use of bio-pesticides
Research Scientist and Agronomist
Regional Experts Workshop on Development,
Regulation and Use of Bio-pesticides in East Africa,
Nairobi, Kenya, 22–23 May 2014
Global trends in the development and use of
“Bio-pesticides are gaining
increasing acceptance from
growers, and big agro-chemical
companies worldwide as a
fundamental part of crop
protection/IPM looking into their
benefits and business
What are bio-pesticides?
Why use bio-pesticides?
Developments and use of bio-pesticides?
Bio-pesticides use as seed treatments?
What are challenges for their future growth?
What are Bio-pesticides?
Bio-pesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from
natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, and
certain minerals - EPA
1. Microbial pesticides– Consist of micro-organism (Fungi,
bacteria, viruses and protozoa) as active ingredient.
2. Biochemical pesticides – Plant extracts, pheromones, soaps
and fatty acids, natural plant growth regulators (PGR).
Avermectin, Pyrethrins, Spinocid from natural products but not
3. Natural enemies – Parasitoids, predators and pathogens of
4. Plant incorporated protectants – pesticide substances
produced by plants containing added genetic material.
Why bio-pesticides …..
Tightening regulations on pesticide residues, especially in developed
world (Europe and North America).
Non availability of several active substances for crop protection due
to banning of many insecticides including neonicotinoid in Europe
and cosmetic insecticides in Canada.
Growing awareness among consumers for organic product and
chemical free crops.
Growing acceptance of bio-pesticides as an efficient crop protection
alternative with eco-friendly foot prints.
Bio-pesticides fits where few chemicals exist e.g. Nematode control.
Why bio-pesticides ….
Fit with IPM systems and contribute to environmentally responsible
Bio-pesticides help with resistance management.
Help growers to manage residue level creating more opportunities for
export to markets where residue limits been reduced.
Most bio-pesticides short pre-harvest intervals, which allow more
flexibility in harvest and shipping schedules.
Conventional technique or methods can be used for application.
Trends in bio-pesticides
Bio-pesticides are not new they are in use since ages but grower/ industry
acceptance happened in last 7 – 8 years.
Global bio-pesticide market was $ 1.3 billion in 2011, and 63 % of it was microbial
basis active ingredients.
Projected to grow to 3.2 billion by 2017 @ a CGAR 15.8 %.
North America dominates bio-pesticides market with share of 40 %.
Asia pacific and Europe are expected to be fastest growing market in near future
due to stringent regulations for pesticides and increasing demand for organics.
Overall bio-pesticides represent 2 % of pesticides market.
Growth is hindered by well established crop protection chemical market, variable
efficiency of bio-pesticides, less awareness among growers.
First deployed on speciality high value crops, vegetables and
greenhouse crops to manage residue.
Now they are being applied on all type of broad acreage crops
(Cereals, Oilseed, Sugar, Fiber, Forage Grains).
To date 400 plus active ingredients have been registered across globe
and 1250 plus products based on these active ingredients have been
Products based on various Bacillus thuringensis strains dominate the
Other major products are based on Beauveria, Metarhizium,
Trichoderma, Bacillus subtilis, B. firmus, Pseudomonas flourescens
and entomopathogenic NPV.
Commonly used Bio-
Origin Product Use for control of Manufacturer
sp. Aizawa/ sp.
Many insects Valent BioSciences;
PFR-97/ No fly Aphids and whiteflies Certis LLC/ OMRI
Grandevo Whiteflies, stink bug and
cucumber beetle and
diamond back moth
Innovation Inc (MBI)
Neem oil/Azadiractin Trilogy®/Aza-direct Many insects Certis LLC/Gowen
ticks, beetle grubs/
Metarhizium 69/ 78/ 62
Beauveria bassiana Naturallis/
Whitflies/ soft bodied
Commonly used bio-
Origin Product Control Manufacturer
MeloCon® Nematode Prophyta;
DiTera® Nematode Valent
Bacillus firmus Votivo® Nematode Bayer Crop
Nema-Q® Nematode Monterey Ag
Commonly used bio-
Source Product Disease control Manufacturer
Soil pathogens Natural Industries;
Blight Ban Fire blight Nufarm
Contans® Sclerotinia sp. BCS (Prophyta)
SoilGard® Soil borne
Regalia® Many plant
Most of bio-pesticides business was with regional companies till 2009.
In last five years acquisition of many small many companied by big agro-chemical
companies happened to increase their portfolio:
Bayer crop Sciences – AgraQuest Inc and Prophyta (423 m +); Biagro
BASF – Becker Underwood Inc (1 billion)
Monsanto – agardis, RNAi provider and Novozyme Bio Ag alliance (300 m)
Syngenta – de V gen (523 Million) and Pasteuria Bioscience (123 m)
Other major companies
Valent Biosciences Corp (US) – Sumitomo Subsidiary
Certis USA LLC (US)
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc (US)
Hebei Veyong Bio-Chemical Co. Ltd (China)
Koppert Biological Systems (The Netherland)
Embrapa Milho E Sorgo (Brazil)
Ag Biotech Australia Pty Ltd (Australia)
Few bio-pesticides reach
Less than 0.1 % of the potentially bioactive microbial bio-control
agents reaches the market (estimation based on scientific journal,
grey literature and theses) Petrot
Today despite of increased research efforts in the last 10 years
(especially in India, China, Africa and central and South America),
mainly old active ingredients identified 30 years ago and more are
in the market.
Most are new strains of same well known species an when they
reach market they are less effective than chemical standards (Pam
Marrone, CEO of MBI).
What are the reasons ….
Economic limiting factors – high cost for registration 1.2 to 1.5
million Euro in Europe and 1 m in US, and market is small.
More time for registration – EPA and PMRA takes17 months or more.
In Europe a product ‘No-Fly’ from Futureco Bioscience took 7 years
to get EU registration.
In Asia pacific lack of well defined regulatory procedures,
awareness and support for the bio-pesticides.
Bio-pesticides are less effective compared to agrochemicals they
are meant to replace them partially.
Response to application is sometimes inconsistent.
Bio-pesticide application requires high technical skills to be
successful; and this at grower level is expensive, complicated and
needs monitoring (Paul Sopp, Fargo).
What are reasons ….
Most of the technologies tried didn’t fit the context.
Much of the R&D was in public sector at CGAIR and large
academic/research institution and they were not tie up with
private sector for commercialisation.
Products and technologies have not been customised for the
Products which don’t work have been commercially marketed
which resulted in lack of interest among growers and Ag
sector about bio-pesticides which have not been well
Lack of regulatory policies, awareness and support for the bio-
pesticides; no economic incentive and financing systems.
There is overall weakness in infrastructure for manufacturing
and quality control.
What is required to
improve success rate?
Address the weaknesses discussed in previous slides.
Develop innovative partnership between private sector and
academia for catalytic change.
Require well defined different regulatory policies for bio-pesticides
Govt Support to develop infrastructure for manufacturing and
Must understand the strengths and weaknesses of the products
before taking them to market.
Inform and educate the growers about the reality of the product.
Overall one need to be realistic and honest about bio-pesticides
Use less product on seeds and therefore less expensive than foliar and soil
applications and reduced environmental footprint and fits well in IPM approaches.
The much reported incidents linking the use of seed-applied systemic neonicotinoid
with bee mortality has changed that and now there is huge regulatory scrutiny of
Use of neonicotinoid has been banned temporally banned in Europe, and situation is
closely monitored in USA and Canada.
Dust level released from the seeds are checked in the EU and the use of effective
polymers is becoming widespread in EU and North America.
Big agrochemicals companies looking for new technologies
as they are facing more and more problems with synthetic
chemistry, plus new chemistry is more difficult to discover,
and they will be able afford the cost of registering bio-
Bio-pesticides meets the requirement of modern seed
treatment technology; safe to use, low impact on the
environment, easy to apply, good compatibility, good
adhesion, must be safe to operator and end user, must be
effective and noval.
Some progress & successful commercialisation of single
strain microbial seed treatments has been achieved by both
major and smaller companies in North America and EU.
Global seed treatment
$ 2.3 billion estimate 2012.
Projected to grow to 4.2 billion by 2017 @ a CGAR 10.6 %.
51 % are insecticides, 35 % are fungicides.
North America dominates seed treatment market with 45 % share.
Asia pacific share is just 7 % expected to grow to 306 million (2018)
Europe market will be 663 million in 2018
Source: Marketsandmarket report, 2013
$ 4.7 billion estimate 2012 out of it 1 billion is seed inoculants
and biological control
Source - AgriThorty
Bio-pesticides seed treatment –
VAULT HP Plus
VAULT® HP PLUS – INTEGRAL
BIOSTAKED TREATMENT FOR
Robust Rhizobial Inoculant minimum
guaranteed count of 10 billion CFU
Bradyrhizobium japonicum highly
effective and infective strain.
Powerful INTEGRAL Bio-fungicide
Extends suppression of yield-robbing
Rhizoctonia and Fusarium fungal
Complements other systemic
fungicides to help promote better
root structure and vigor. More
vigorous roots mean improved
nutrient uptake for added yield
Bio-pesticides as seed
1. Poncho/VOTiVO - Bacillus firmus -1582
lives and grows with young roots, create a
living barrier that prevents important
nematode reaching roots.
2. Kodiak® HB - B. subtilis (6 x 109 CFU/ ml)
for suppressing soil borne fungal diseases .
3. SERENADE® B. subtilis with fungicidal
activity against soil borne diseases impact
seed germination and plant growth in
soybeans, cotton, corn, wheat and
4. Sonata® – B. pumilus (QST 2808)
effective against downy and powdery
mildews and rusts, and is an excellent fit in
resistance management programs.
Challenges for future
growth of bio-pesticides
IP rights of active ingredients, formulations, treating technologies.
Regulatory requirements of testing and supply of replicated efficacy data from third
Most of time not been able to extrapolate from laboratory to consistent commercially
viable field performance.
Farmers are still skeptical of the ability of the bio-pesticide.
Proper monitoring of crops is necessary to proper timing of bio-pesticides.
Bio-pesticides often target specific pest, meaning other application may be necessary
to kill other pests.
Storage of bio-pesticides and shelf life.
To avoid failures formulation quality of biological, and also production scale-up on an
economical basis required to be discussed
Whatever may be the challenges and issues, further
R&D on bio-pesticides must be given high priority and
agriculturists in general and policy makers in particular
must be educated about the dangers of handling and
application of chemical pesticides, and importance of
sustainable agriculture to feed ever growing
Just let us know where can we of any
help in taking your business