The worldwide agricultural industry is confronted with numerous issues. According to the United Nations, by 2050, the world population will have surpassed nine billion people. This will put a lot of pressure on the agricultural business, which is already suffering from a loss of productivity due to manpower shortages and the shrinkage of agricultural fields as a result of rapid urbanization. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, more than 70% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050.
The world’s population continues to grow, and so does the demand for food. Farmers need to produce more food to feed the growing population, and fertilizers help to increase crop yields and improve food production.
Fertilisers are additional substances supplied to the crops to increase their productivity. These are used by the farmers daily to increase the crop yield. These fertilisers contain essential nutrients required by the plants, including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. They also enhance the water retention capacity of the soil and increase its fertility.
As rural areas develop, there is a decrease in the amount of land dedicated to agriculture. This results in increased demand for fertilizers, to maintain soil fertility and ensure high crop yields. Soil degradation is a major problem that affects agricultural productivity. Farmers are being forced to use fertilizers to enhance their agricultural output due to a loss of arable land across the globe.
Fertilizers help to replenish nutrients in the soil that have been depleted due to intensive farming practices, ensuring that crops continue to grow and yield. Climate change is having an impact on agriculture, with changing weather patterns affecting crop yields. Fertilizers can help mitigate the effects of climate change by improving the resilience of crops and ensuring they are better able to withstand extreme weather conditions.
However, there are some factors that restrict the growth of fertilizers. It can have adverse effects on the environment, including soil degradation, water pollution, and GHG emissions, and the overuse of fertilizers can result in adverse health effects.
As a result, governments impose regulations on fertilizer use to mitigate these impacts. Additionally, Fertilizers can be expensive, especially for small-scale farmers. While in some regions, fertilizers may not be readily available due to limited access to markets where fertilizers are sold.
Types Of Fertilisers
Fertilisers are mainly classified into two main types, organic and inorganic fertilisers.
Natural fertilisers derived from plants and animals are known as organic fertilisers. By adding carbonic molecules necessary for plant growth, it enriches the soil. Organic fertilisers boost the amount of organic matter in the soil, encourage microbial reproduction, and alter the physical and chemical composition of the soil. It is regarded as one of the essential elements for foods that are green.
Organic fertilizers can be obtained from the following products: Agricultural Waste, Livestock Manure, Industrial Waste, and Municipal Sludge.
Chemical fertilisers generated by chemical techniques that contain nutrients for crop growth are known as inorganic fertilisers. The inorganic fertilisers are of the following types:
Nitrogen fertilisers contain nitrogen necessary for the development of crops. Nitrogen, a key constituent of chlorophyll, helps main balance in the process of photosynthesis. It is also a part of amino acids in plants and contains protein. Nitrogen fertilisers improve the production and quality of agricultural products.
In a phosphorus fertiliser, phosphorus is the principal nutrient. The effective phosphorus concentration, fertilisation techniques, soil characteristics, and crop strains all affect how successful a fertiliser is. The protoplasm of the cell contains phosphorus, which is crucial for cell growth and proliferation. The growth of the plants’ roots is aided by the phosphorus fertiliser.
For in depth understanding on Fertilizer technology and applications please visit: Fertilizer Fundamentals: The Science and Application of Plant Nutrients
Tech breakthrough improves fertilizer efficiency
Using sensor-based fertigation management systems, such as Nebraska-based Sentinel Fertigation, which was founded by Jackson Stansell, has evolved enough today that some producers can actually cut their total nitrogen applied by nearly half and still obtain similar yields.
With the price tag of fertilizer, that is a big deal, says Joe Luck, Nebraska Extension precision agriculture engineer. Over the past four years of research across around 20 fields, even compared to sensors mounted on high-clearance machines going through the fields, the sensor-based systems applying nitrogen through fertigation with center pivots have cut nitrogen use down to 0.55 to 0.65 pounds of N (applied as fertilizer) per bushel of corn produced, Luck says.
Sensor-based fertigation or nutrient application in-season basically uses the plant as a monitoring tool to tell producers when it needs nutrients, Luck says. “We are able to get aerial imagery every other day now, so we have an idea of what nitrogen stress looks like,” he notes.
Using plants as biological sensors to tell the operator when they need nitrogen between V6 and R3 last year, as an example, yielded 277 bushels of corn per acre with only 96 pounds of fertilizer-applied N, Luck says.
“People are shocked,” he says. “We saved up to $95 per acre in some fields” without giving up on yield. Now, even Natural Resources Districts such as Central Platte NRD are looking at ways in which such technology can help to reduce nitrogen use in the district and protect groundwater quality.
Vantage Market Research analyses that the Fertilizer Market was valued at USD 191.5 Billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 219.4 Billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 2.3% during the forecast period of 2023 to 2028.
The demand for fertilizers is driven by the need to increase agricultural productivity to meet the food demands of a growing population, while also addressing the challenges posed by soil degradation and climate change
The growing need for improved soil nutrients and increasing agricultural yields is projected to increase chemical use. Organic fertilizers are expected to increase, encouraging farmers to use fertilizers more efficiently and safely. Rising rural incomes and flexibility and speed in credit provision are expected to boost revenue generation. The organic fertilizer market has emerged due to government support and increased knowledge about the benefits of using organic fertilizers on human health and soil quality.
The Fertilizer market is primarily driven by a few key factors, such as increasing consumer appeal, successful marketing strategy in opportunities, and simultaneous financial investment in product development.
Around the world, several government and non-government organizations are raising awareness about fertilizer use and its favorable impact on agricultural output. The fertilizer market is predicted to benefit from the promotion of fertilizers through radio, television, and rural centers. Furthermore, rising rural incomes, as well as the ease and quick availability of credit, are expected to boost revenue generation. Lack of understanding about fertilizer usage, are having a harmful influence on soil and human health. Farmers prefer to overuse fertilizers in order to boost their yield, which is harmful to the environment. The absence of personal safety kits for handling and applying fertilizers has a negative impact on the human body.
Easy availability for replacement is one of the challenges facing the Fertilizer market. Another constraint in the market is the low cost of alternatives. However, companies intend to overcome this hurdle by using the latest technology and managing prices, increasing the demand for the product. Furthermore, researchers have also highlighted major barriers for market participants to mitigate risks, modify their plans and continue operations. By doing so, companies can manage their resources properly without sacrificing product quality or on-time market delivery.
Vegetables & Fruits and Cereals & Grains account for almost 80% of the total fertilizers used as they are critical to food security and nutrition for billions of people around the world.
Cereals and grains are some of the most widely produced crops in the world and are used for food, feed, and industrial purposes. According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the top five kinds of cereal produced globally in 2020 were maize (corn), rice, wheat, barley, and sorghum. These five crops accounted for over 80% of total cereal production worldwide. Cereals and grains are grown in a wide range of countries, from large producers such as the United States, China, and India to smaller producers in Africa, Europe, and Latin America. They are often grown in large-scale monoculture systems, although some farmers may also use intercropping or crop rotation systems to improve soil health and reduce pest pressure.“The demand for complex fertilizers will grow significantly at a growth rate of 5.22%, for crops that require a range of nutrients, like corn, wheat, soybeans, and cotton. This is because of its versatility and a mix of primary, secondary, and micronutrients. The balanced mix of nutrients for optimal plant growth makes them a popular choice for many farmers and agricultural producers.” Says, Mr. Dhwipal Shah, Research Director with Bonafide Research.
Nitrogenous Fertilizers remain the most commonly used fertilizer, due to their low cost and high yields. Nitrogenous fertilizers are the most used fertilizers by farmers as they are less expensive, readily available, and efficient. However, Phosphatic fertilizers have a higher value share as they tend to be more expensive than nitrogenous fertilizers. This is because the production of phosphatic fertilizers typically requires more complex processing and manufacturing methods compared to nitrogenous fertilizers, which can be produced more easily and cost-effectively using methods such as the Haber-Bosch process. In addition, the global supply of phosphorus, which is a key component of phosphatic fertilizers, is relatively limited compared to nitrogen, which can be sourced from the atmosphere. The use of Potash fertilizer, which is a source of potassium, is limited due to factors such as cost and availability. Potash is typically found in underground deposits that can be expensive and challenging to mine and extract. In addition, some soils may already contain high levels of potassium, which can reduce the need for additional potash fertilization. In some cases, other types of fertilizers may be more widely used due to cost, availability, or other factors.
Organic fertilizers will follow an upward trajectory
Organic fertilizers will generate a product demand of around 11.5 million tons by 2030. In comparison to inorganic fertilizers, organic fertilizers are usually safer to use and are not as concentrated. Organic fertilizers are non-toxic and safe for the environment. They’re thought to be the best fertilizers for a variety of plants and crops. Their regular application does not jeopardize the soil’s biological balance and helps to improve soil fertility. Growing environmental awareness, as well as the negative consequences of employing inorganic or synthetic fertilizers, has aided many farmers in their transition to organic farming. Furthermore, the fertilizer market is likely to benefit from increased consumer demand for organic agricultural products.
Dry fertilizers dominated the market expansion
The dry fertilizers market size is expected to cross USD 200 billion by 2030. Fertilizers that are dry or granular are easier to store and do not require particular storage conditions. The majority of the time, they are kept at room temperature. In a cold environment, dry fertilizers do not settle out or salt out. For intensive pre-plant treatments, dry fertilizers are more effective. Dry fertilizers with polymer-coated urea are utilized because of their slow-release processes. Furthermore, buying dry fertilizers in bulk saves money. Growing agricultural production is expected to further increase dry fertilizers market concentration over the forecast period.
Liquid fertilizers will be in high demand over the forecast period, due to ease of use, even spraying, and quick absorption rate.
Liquid fertilizers to be in huge demand over the coming years, due to the rise of alternative farming techniques like indoor farming, vertical farming, greenhouse farming, and others. Liquid fertilizers are often used in hydroponic vertical farming systems because they can be easily delivered through a drip irrigation system or other hydroponic setups. Liquid fertilizers can be formulated to provide a precise mix of nutrients based on the specific needs of the plants being grown, and they can be quickly absorbed by plant roots. However, the only limiting factor is, liquid fertilizers may be more expensive than dry fertilizers and may require more frequent application.
The choice of liquid fertilizer in agriculture may depend on factors such as the type of crop being grown, the nutrient requirements of those crops, and the soil conditions in the growing area. Farmers and agricultural professionals may work with soil testing labs or crop consultants to determine the most effective liquid fertilizer program for their specific needs. On the other hand, dry fertilizers are commonly used in soil-based vertical farming systems or in hydroponic systems that use an inert growing medium, such as perlite or vermiculite.
Agriculture segment to dominate the industry
The agriculture segment will generate over USD 100 billion by 2030. The fertilizer industry is likely to be driven by fertilizer applications in agricultural activities such as cultivating plants and basic food crops. Furthermore, increasing demand for rice, maize, wheat, millets, paddy, and barley in developed as well as developing economies would push fertilizer market in coming years. By 2030, fertilizer usage for agriculture applications will be driven using fertilizers in agricultural areas to replenish essential minerals present naturally in the soil, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Asia Pacific to be the most lucrative region
China, USA & India together account for 40% of the global fertilizer market. Asia-Pacific region dominates the fertilizer market and is expected to be valued at USD 120 Billion by 2027.
Asia Pacific dominates the fertilizer market and will witness around 2.5% CAGR over the forecast timeframe. Growing population followed by increasing demand for enhanced food production in China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Bangladesh is expected to increase fertilizer market concentration in coming years. Several countries in the region are major exporters of agricultural products to all over the world. Every year, for example, Vietnam and Thailand export a record amount of rice. India, on the other hand, is expected to export over USD 4 billion worth of rice in 2020. Furthermore, an increase in foreign direct investment and government subsidies in the fertilizer sector will boost regional product demand.
Leading companies operating in this industry are CF Industries Holdings, Inc., GÜBRETA, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Haifa Group, Syngenta AG, Unikeyterra, SQM S.A, Yara International ASA, Band?rma Gübre Fabrikalar? A.?., Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Gemlik Fertilizer, Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL), Bunge Limited, Inc., and Nutrien Ltd
Yara International ASA and OCP Group are the two leading companies in the Global Fertilizer Market 2021 with nearly 12% of the total share. Yara International ASA is a Norwegian-based company that has grown to become a leading global player in the fertilizer industry. It operates in over 60 countries and has a strong presence in key agricultural markets such as Brazil, India, and the United States. The company’s product portfolio includes a range of fertilizers, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizers, as well as specialty fertilizers and micronutrient products.
OCP Group, also known as Office Chérifien des Phosphates, is a Moroccan-based company that is one of the world’s largest producers of phosphates and phosphate-based fertilizers. It operates throughout the entire phosphate value chain, from mining and extraction to processing, manufacturing, and distribution. The company’s phosphate reserves are among the largest in the world, and it has significant production capacity for a range of phosphate-based fertilizers, including di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP), and triple superphosphate (TSP). OCP Group is a key supplier of phosphate-based fertilizers to markets around the world, including Asia, Latin America, and Europe, and it has a strong presence in emerging markets such as India and sub-Saharan Africa.
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