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The growth of the biofertilizer and biopesticide (B&B) market is driven by the organic food industry, rising demand for natural agrifood products, and increasing awareness of the need for agricultural sustainability. Greater knowledge of the hazards of chemical fertilizers is also accelerating B&B market growth. The integrated use of biofertilizers and organic manure lowers the overall environmental cost of crop cultivation in the long term and contributes to cleaner production by reducing the need for synthetic chemical fertilizers. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are showing more interest in safe, organic food for boosting their immunity, a trend that will likely continue during and after the pandemic.
The APO started the five-year International Conference on Biofertilizers and Biopesticides (ICBB) series in 2016 with the support of the Council of Agriculture (COA) of the Executive Yuan and China Productivity Center (CPC) of the ROC. Each conference focused on different aspects of B&B, and the topic of the fifth and final one was marketing and commercialization. The virtual sessions of the 5th ICBB held on 28 April were attended by 79 participants and 40 observers from 14 APO member countries, along with four resource persons from Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the host ROC. The results stemming from past conferences were reviewed before exploring how B&B marketing and commercialization could create more business opportunities and greater sustainability in agriculture.
The opening session featured remarks by COA Deputy Minister Dr. Chin-Cheng Huang, CPC Director Eugene Lin, and APO Secretary-General Dr. AKP Mochtan. All stressed the importance of B&B commercialization and marketing from local to global perspectives for safe food production, Green Productivity, and sustainable agriculture. The conference concluded with remarks by COA Director General Dr. Dennis Wang of the Department of Science and Technology.
The resource persons gave presentations on B&B industry trends and marketing strategies during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Opportunities for public–private partnerships in biocontrol research and product development were outlined. Participants and resource persons then engaged in a panel discussion moderated by Director Su-San Chang of the Food & Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region to explore new business creation and sustainability options resulting from B&B marketing and commercialization. The establishment of an Asia-Pacific Biopesticide and Biofertilizer Information Platform engaging all relevant stakeholders was also considered.