Scope of Bio-pesticides
The use of biopesticides in agriculture is fully aligned with market trends that promote healthy eating without neglecting environmental conservation. Consumers are increasingly demanding residue-free food. The trend is becoming more and more powerful.
Organic agriculture is practiced in 172 countries around the world and 43.7 million hectares of agricultural land are managed organically by approximately 2.3 million farmers.
The global sales of organic food and drink reached 80 billion US dollars in 2014.
Australia is the country with the largest organic agricultural area (17.2 million hectares, with 97 per cent of that area used for grazing), followed by Argentina (3.1 million hectares) and the United States of America (2.2 million hectares).
In India, area under certified cultivable organic farming has increased to 1.49 million ha with production of around 1.35 million metric tonnes which will have tremendous requirement of different organic inputs.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, US farms produced and sold $7.6 billion in certified organic commodities which was 23 per cent more than the previous year.
As a result, there has been 11 per cent increase of organic farms in 2016 and a total acreage reached to 5 million acres, up 15 per cent from 2015.
In 2016, Spain surpassed the figure of two million hectares dedicated to organic farming, registering an increase of 8.5 per cent than in 2015.
According to Eurostat data, between 2012 and 2016, the area under organic farming grew by 18.7 per cent in the European Union.
In 2009, the European Union voted a directive to phase-out a number of chemical pesticides in agriculture and governments of Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands took the lead to announce measures for SO per cent reduction in on-farm chemical pesticide use.
France has also taken initiative to halve the consumption of pesticides in agriculture by 2025.
India needs to take lead by mix of initiatives may be in the form of gradual reduction of toxic chemicals and by incentivising the production and use of bio-pesticides to promote chemical free farming.