The global seed market size is estimated to be valued at USD 63.0 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 86.8 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period. The increase in seed replacement rate, adoption of GM crops, increase in organic farming, advent of molecular breeding technology in seeds, government support, and demand from biofuel and feed manufacturing companies are some of the significant drivers for the market. Technological advancements and innovations in this market have introduced hybridization technology and GM crops, which have been gaining importance among farmers, owing to high yields and increased pests, drought situations, and disease tolerance. The US, Brazil, Argentina, China, and India are some of the key markets for seeds globally.
By type, the seeds market is segmented into conventional and genetically modified. The market for genetically modified seeds is expected to grow at a higher rate due to increased demand from farmers for biotech crops, which have higher levels of productivity and profitability. Genetically modified seeds aid farmers to minimize their agricultural input expenses significantly; for example, agrochemical treatments, while guaranteeing a much more abundant harvest.
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The genetically modified seeds, also popularly known as transgenic seeds, are used to improve and bring about useful characteristics within seeds. These characteristics include insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, abiotic stress tolerance, high nutritional quality, high yield/output, disease resistance, and improvement in the overall quality of seeds. They help enhance the quality of products manufactured using these seeds. Some of the countries that have accepted the genetically modified seeds are the US, Argentina, Canada, China, and India for one or more crops.
Based on crop types, the seeds market is segmented into cereals & grains, oilseeds & pulses, fruits & vegetables, and other crops, which include fiber crops and other commercial crops such as tobacco and medicinal plants. Cereals & grains, by crop type, accounted for the largest market share in 2020, owing to factors such as the widespread use of grains as a staple food in many Asian and Southeast Asian countries. In the last few years, countries such as China have emerged as major exporters of grains to meet the requirement of neighboring economies. Crops such as corn are widely utilized in both food and feed industries. With the rising market for biofuels, crops such as sorghum are also being produced on a large scale. Genetically modified varieties of corn are adopted in various parts of the world. Developed countries such as the US have their main focus on animal feed, which is driving the adoption of GM corn for use in animal feed. The usage of GM corn as a raw material for the production of ethanol has also led to an increase in the demand for biofuels as a renewable source.
Other traits are preferred than herbicide tolerance and insect resistance as farmers prefer multiple stacked traits. These traits include herbicide tolerance and insect resistance within a single seed. They help farmers to purchase a single-solution seed to overcome multiple issues, including pests, environmental stresses, diseases, and resistance to weeds. The other traits segment is expected to witness substantial market growth in the developed markets of North America and South America during the forecast period.
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Some of the major players in the seeds market are BASF SE (Germany), Bayer AG (Germany), Syngenta Group (Switzerland), KWS SAAT SE (Germany), Land O’ Lakes (US), and Sakata Seed Corporation (Japan).