Biostimulants have been in use since ancient times; however, it has gained much preference owing to its organic nature. Earlier, biostimulants were industrially produced from humic substances, which were humic acids in most cases. In recent times, the biostimulants market has evolved into a major agricultural input for sustainable crop production.
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Even though fulvic acid is the fastest-growing segment in the Southeast Asian and Australasian biostimulants market, products formulated based on seaweed extracts and microbial segments are projected to attract more demand in the region. Seaweed extracts, being easily available in these regions, reduce the production costs of manufacturers as well as provide effective combination with microbial amendments. Seaweeds are used as biostimulants for their effective phyto-ingredients, which are capable of signaling plant physiological processes to withstand stressful conditions. Microbial amendments are primarily utilized for their ability to enrich the soil suitable enough for nutrient absorption. Their symbiotic association with the crop enhances the physiological processes to translocate the nutrients to the leaves.
Biostimulant products were initially formulated for and gained recognition among crops such as fruits & vegetables, and thereafter, their applications extended to ornamentals, and later on food and industrial crops. Food crops such as corn, and rice and industrial crops such as cotton, soybean, and rapeseed have acknowledged the need to utilize biostimulants.
Developing markets such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Philippines have been employing effective methods to establish sustainable practices to gain better value for their crop produce in the international markets. Potential upsurge in demand is projected in these markets due to the dependence on broad acre crops such as rice, corn, and soybeans. With the significant increase in the cultivation area of plantation crops, Southeast Asia region is also projected to attain prospective growth in biostimulant ingredients. The region is also witnessing a strong growth in the number of small-scale biostimulant manufacturers, especially based on humic acid and seaweed phyto-ingredient formulations. However, in order to compete with international players, the local manufacturers are required to diversify their product portfolios to ingredients such as microbials and fulvic acid.