Engineered chemical products used in agriculture, pesticides, fertilizers, liming and acidifying agents, chemical growth agents, etc.
Agrochemicals, also referred to as agrichemicals or agricultural chemicals, refer to specialty chemicals and related products which are utilized to manage an agricultural ecosystem. They include specifically engineered chemical products used in crop protection and production, such as pesticides and fertilizers. Fertilizers provide essential nutrients to plants and are necessary for mass production of crops by making up for nutrients that the soil may be lacking. Pesticides are broadly classified into insecticides, fungicides and herbicides, named after the pest they are designed to kill. Major fertilizer types include nitrogenous, potassic, and phosphatic. Major types of pesticides include organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoides, and bio-pesticides.
Agrochemicals also include liming and acidifying agents (such as calcium containing minerals and sulfur compounds – these products are used to neutralize soil that may be either too acidic or too alkaline for crops to obtain the proper nutrients they need to grow from that soil), soil conditioners (materials added to soil to increase its ability to hold water and oxygen, such as compost, peat, crop residues, livestock manure, sewage sludge, etc.), lawn and garden consumables, as well as antibiotics, hormones and other chemical growth agents used in animal husbandry. In livestock, various agrochemicals may be used to treat infectious diseases and parasites as well as to increase the growth and productivity of animals.
The agrochemicals sector is an over $200 billion market globally, that is mainly driven by increase in global population which is increasing the food demand, and also by declining availability of arable land and agrochemical use in biofuel production. The major players in the global agrochemicals market include Syngenta, BASF, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, Sumitomo Chemical, Yara International, Agrium, Amvac Chemical, FMC Corporation, ICL, Conquest Agrochemicals, and CF Industries.
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