Impact Assessment of COVID-19 Outbreak on Commercial Seeds Market

With mounting population and consequential increase in food demand, sustainable production of food crops has become the need of the hour. Improved standards of farming coupled with advent of biotechnology in seed cultivation have given a boost to the bioseeds market worldwide leading to disease free cultivation and higher yields. The agricultural biotech corporations such as Monsanto, DuPont and others, provide proprietary seeds to farmers in order to facilitate their varied needs across the agricultural industry.
Increasing world population has resulted in significant shortage of food supply, consequently driving the development of commercial seeds and GM crops. In addition, rising demand of bio-fuels is mounting pressure on agricultural lands to increase yield of crops such as corn, which is a key ingredient in producing ethanol. Other key factors which are expected to drive the growth of commercial seeds and GM (Genetically Modified) crops include increased consumption of animal fodder to meet the growing population of cattle and a rising need in commodities such as vegetable oil.

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However, the use of GM seeds also has complications associated with its cultivation and consumption, which has restricted the market growth to a notable extent. With decline in arable land, demand for GM crops has substantially increased owing to high yielding capability of these crops. Crucial health ailments and damage to fauna have been reported globally due to crops grown from GM seeds. In lieu of this, many countries such as Peru, India and certain regions of U.S. have banned commercial application of GM seeds. This is expected to be one of the key factors hampering the growth of the market.
Development and adoption of new methods of farming in developed as well as developing regions are expected to open future opportunities in the development and application of commercial seeds and GM crops.

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Within the commercial seeds market, maize was the largest consumed seed in 2011 and accounted for over 40% of the overall market revenue. Soybean and vegetable seeds were the other largely consumed seeds, together accounting for over 30% of the revenue in 2011. Maize is expected to show fastest growth over the forecast period owing to the increased demand for bio-fuels which is used as a substitute to conventional fuel. North America was the largest market for commercial seeds accounting for over 30% of the total revenue in 2011 followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. Asia Pacific and Latin America are expected to drive the growth for commercial seeds over the forecast period on account of rapid development within these regions.

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Within the GM Seeds market, consumption of soybean was highest and accounted for over 40% of the total revenue in 2011. Corn accounted for the second largest demand from the GM seeds market, followed by cotton in 2011. Over the forecast period, corn is expected to show the fastest growth on account of an increased demand for bio-based fuels such as ethanol. North America dominated the global market in 2011 accounting for over 30% of the overall share, followed by Asia Pacific. Densely populated regions of Asia Pacific and Latin America are expected to drive the market for GM seeds over the forecast period.
The seeds market is consolidated with the top four companies accounting for over 50% of the total share in 2011. Monsanto was the largest company in the market and accounted for a share of over 20% in 2011. DuPont Pioneer and Syngenta are the other largest commercial seeds manufacturing companies. Both these companies are well-established in the market and are known for their Optimum and Garst brands, respectively. Other players operating in the market include Bayer AgroScience, KWS, AgReliant, Sakata, and Takii among others.

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