Over the last two decades, new practices focused on improving environmental sustainability and efficiency have become a central concern in modern agriculture. At the same time, the technological and scientific revolution have brought a deep change in the way that food is produced and distributed. In this context, biostimulants are called to lead the evolution of the biotechnological applications aimed to enhance crop efficiency and optimization.
What is exactly a biostimulant?
The European Biostiulants Industry Council (EBIC) points that “plant biostimulants contain substance(s) and/or micro-organisms whose function when applied to plants or the rhizosphere is to stimulate natural processes to enhance/benefit nutrient uptake, nutrien efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress and crop quality. physiological pathways that we want”, argues Javier Nácher, technical director in SEIPASA, a company specialized in natural solutions for plants based in Spain.”Therefore, biostimulants support plant’s own natural development and its resistance against abiotic factors, such as climate, light, soil, etc. “With these products, we can stimulate phisiological pathways that we want”, argues Javier Nácher, technical director in SEIPASA, a company specialized in natural solutions for plants based in Spain.
‘BioStimulants Europe’, the meeting point of an increasing industry
The market for biostimulants is expected to reach over 5.000 million euros by 2020, being the annual growth of this industry higher than 10%. Given its status as strategic location, Almería has become the center of the global biostimulants industry for two days. The event ‘BioStimulants Europe’, organized by ACI events, has brought to the city hundreds of key stakeholders related to the biostimulants sector arrived from all over the world.
The event, which was held from the 31st of November to the 1st of December, was sponsored by relevant companies and brands in the field of biotechnological innovation, such as Agrinos, Algamar, Iden Biotechnology, Maxstim or SCC.
Participants of this business meeting came from Australia, Mexico, Chile, United States, India and, of course, from Europe and Almería, in particular. The main purpose was to engage with stakehoders and get insights on the latest advancements of the sector, and we can assure these targets were largely met.
The result was an active conference in which more than 20 participants were able to show to the rest of the attendants their investigations, innovations and knowledge. Meanwhile, assistants were able to contact with multiple professionals and experts during coffee and lunch breaks, in which ‘networking’ activities were implemented by the event organizers.
Among all the topics discussed during the conference, one was of special interest: the necessity of having a good and clear legislation about biostimulants.
Challenges and opportunities
‘Biostimulant’ is a term coined by scientists, not being legally recognized as such. In other words, Spain and the European Union do not have an armonized legislation regarding these products.The lack of legislation makes everything a little harder. This issue make difficult for producers to catalogue and differentiate their products from common plaguicides and fertilizers. For instance, bring accurate data and information to the biostimulants industry is not easy since there is not an official definition of what is a biostimulant and what is not.
The biostimulants market has “a huge potential since worldwide food demand needs to be satisfied”, recognizes Javier Nácher, and these products are crucial to achieve it. The increasing global population means more food production is needed. However, global warming is requiring to increase sustainability of crops and soils, which is not possible by increasing crops production with current techniques. Due to this, biostimulants, a product that meets both requirements, are of the utmost importance in order to overcome these challenges.
Relevant Conference: http://www.wplgroup.com/aci/event/biostimulants-europe/