Seed treatment refers to the process of applying biologically active ingredients or certain chemicals to seeds. Done usually before packaging of seed for market distribution, seed treatment procedures coat seeds with insecticides, fungicides or a combination of such substances so that the seeds become resistant to storage and soil borne pathogens. Since a lesser amount of disinfectants is required for seed treatment as compared to the amount used for spraying pesticides directly on standing crops, seed treatment is more effective and also cost efficient. Certain varieties of insecticides also help in improving the level of stress tolerance of plants, making plants more resistant to harsh conditions such as drought and heat.
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Owing to the flourishing growth of the global seed treatment market in the past few years, the demand for seed treatment procedures has also increased at a swift pace. To sustain food needs of the mounting global population in current times, when agriculture faces varying degrees of severities in the form of environmental challenges, rapidly depleting natural resources, economic instability and wars, the need for effective seed treatment methods is more conspicuous than ever.
A recent report published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) states that the global market for seed will expand at a healthy CAGR of 9.25% between 2012 and 2018. With this growth-rate, the market, which was valued at US$2.43 bn in 2011, is expected to reach US$4.45 bn by 2018.
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Issue of Food Security for 7 Billion+ Global Population Remains Key Market Driver
The world today needs the intervention of science and technology to meet the food needs of the rising global population more than ever before. Many regions across the globe are already struggling to bridge the gap between the unprecedented rate of population growth and the diminishing agricultural produce. To ensure proper food supply to the global population, it is necessary that more and better quality food is produced. The accelerating demand for increased and better agricultural produce is the primary factor driving the global market for seed treatment. Technological developments in the field of seed treatment procedures are also driving the global market. However, the concern regarding ill-effects of chemicals present in most pesticides on the environment are hampering market’s growth to a certain extent.
Ill-effects of Pesticides on Environment Propel Market for Nonchemical Seed Treatment Methods
Environmental concerns, which have also prompted many government bodies to lawfully limit the use of pesticides, have in-turn led to the increased popularity of nonchemical seed treatment methods. While the market for bio-based seed treatment methods currently occupies a very small share of the global seed treatment market, it is expected to exhibit a positive CAGR of 9.9% between 2012 and 2018.
Of the chief varieties of pesticides commonly used for treating seeds, insecticides dominated the overall demand observed in the global seed treatment market in 2011 by accounting for a 52.5% of the overall market. In the same year, fungicides accounted for a 34.9% of the market.
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Geographically, the market for seed treatment in North America led the global market with a 42.8% share in 2011, followed by Latin America with 24.2% of the global seed treatment market. Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a CAGR of 10.2% between 2012 and 2018 owing to the high demand for seeds in developing countries of the region, particularly India and China.
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