In our unwavering pursuit of global food security, the agricultural sector stands at a pivotal crossroads. For far too long, traditional practices focused solely on maximising production, ignoring the profound consequences of our actions on the delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystems. Today, we confront an alarming reality: our once carefully nurtured agriculture, humanity’s oldest enterprise, has become a leading culprit behind environmental pollution, deforestation, and climate change. To navigate this critical juncture and provide sustenance for the projected 10 billion people on Earth in foreseeable future, we must embrace a paradigm shift towards sustainable alternatives. At this pivotal moment, in a world increasingly concerned about synthetic chemical products and the growing popularity of organic food, biologicals have emerged as a beacon of hope, revolutionising the very foundation of modern agriculture and paving the way for a transformative Bio-Revolution.
Biologicals encompass microbes and other organisms and a diverse range of products derived from them, possessing the potential to redefine agriculture as we know it. Within this spectrum, biostimulants, bio-fertilisers, and bioprotectants hold the key to unlocking unparalleled benefits for our crops and the environment. Biostimulants unleash the power of accelerated plant growth, development, and yield, while fortifying resilience against abiotic stresses. Bioprotectants stand as invaluable guardians, protecting our crops against biological threats and ensuring their health and vitality. Furthermore, bio-fertilisers provide the essential nutrients needed for optimal plant growth while preserving soil fertility. While the precise definitions of these categories continue to evolve, one thing is certain that the market for biologicals as agricultural inputs is experiencing explosive growth.
International reports forecast that the global biologicals market in agriculture, valued at a staggering US$12.9 billion in 2022, will surge to an impressive US$24.6 billion by 2027. With a remarkable growth rate of 15.6%, the biocontrol market is projected to surpass US$11 billion by 2027, while the biostimulants market is estimated to reach an impressive US$6.2 billion. Simultaneously, the market for biofertilisers is anticipated to grow to US$4.5 billion by 2026. These staggering figures not only underscore the surging demand for biologicals but also highlight the agricultural sector’s readiness to embrace sustainable alternatives.
Yet, amidst the remarkable growth of the biological sector, concerns are arising regarding its current and projected trajectory. Some fear that this growth is driven by mere opportunism, fuelled by the mounting apprehension among global communities regarding the use of chemical inputs reminiscent of the 20th century. To ensure genuine success and long-term sustainability, the biological sector must be firmly grounded in comprehensive exploration, tapping into the vast gene pool of promising sources to develop novel solutions.
Throughout human history, we have explored countless plant and animal species in our quest for sustenance. Yet, the vast microbial resource remains largely unexplored. To ensure genuine success and long-term sustainability, the biological sector must be firmly grounded in the comprehensive exploration of microbes and other forms of biological diversity. Such exploration will unlock a vast gene pool of promising sources that can be tapped to develop truly transformative solutions for nourishing both people and the planet.
One of the critical challenges we face in this journey towards the Bio-Revolution is the absence of global leadership in guiding, coordinating, and propelling initiatives on a worldwide scale. Without strategic direction, defined agendas, mobilised resources, and facilitated collaboration among diverse stakeholders, we risk falling short in addressing global challenges and achieving our shared goals. Thus, it becomes imperative to establish a global leadership platform, exemplified by the World BioProtection Research Foundation, entirely dedicated to exploring and disseminating the benefits of beneficial microbes and their products.
The Foundation stands committed to fostering coordination, sharing invaluable information, and inspiring collaborative action on an international scale. The Foundation recognises the urgent need for a globally coordinated approach to explore and identify potential game-changing microbes and other biologicals. By raising global awareness among communities, policymakers, and stakeholders about the profound significance of exploring microbial and biological diversity, the Foundation actively advocates for the establishment of global leadership and coordination mechanisms in this domain. Through these efforts, the Foundation aims to catalyse momentum and inspire action towards our shared vision of a thriving Bio-Revolution in agriculture.
The Foundation forges an unwavering path forward, where the agricultural sector no longer symbolises environmental degradation but instead stands as a shining example of harmonious coexistence with nature. Let us unite in our shared responsibility to nurture the Bio-Revolution in agriculture, unlocking the extraordinary potential of biologicals to transform our food systems, safeguard our planet, and secure a prosperous future for generations to come. The time for global leadership in driving the biological sector is now. Together, we possess the power to transform this vision into a tangible and triumphant reality, creating an agricultural legacy that sustains life on Earth.
In closing, we invite all those who share the vision of a thriving Bio-Revolution in agriculture and are passionate about the potential of biologicals to transform our world to connect with us. If you are an individual, organisation, or institution committed to advancing sustainable agriculture and exploring the untapped potential of beneficial microbes and biologicals, we encourage you please join hands in this vital endeavour and feel free to contact Professor Shashi Sharma, Founder Chairman of the World BioProtection Research Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your ideas, expertise, and collaboration are vital for nurturing the Bio-Revolution and sowing the seeds for building a brighter future for our planet, our agriculture, and future generations.