The global biopesticides market is growing at an annual rate of 15 percent and is anticipated to reach $5 billion by 2020. Eighty percent of biopesticides are used to protect high value crops like fruits and vegetables, largely because they leave no chemical residues, something greatly appreciated by consumers. Too, naturally occurring fungi and bacteria do no harm to the environment even while controlling insect pests.
Double-digit growth is nothing to sneeze at, but adoption of biopesticides has been slowed because sunlight causes them to break down, limiting their window of lethality. Farmers and growers must follow specific application instructions to ensure optimum effectiveness.
How can we accelerate the adoption of environmentally friendly biopesticides? If biopesticides came with a protective shield like the candy coating on M&Ms that extended the life and lethality of the fungi and bacteria, would more farmers/growers choose biopesticides over chemical pesticides? These are questions EcoPesticides is working to answer.
We are developing a solution we call eShield™ Microencapsulation Technology that uses natural ingredients to protect the microorganisms used in biopesticides from rapid degradation due to environmental factors. Our proprietary process coats biopesticide agents with a virtual “shield,” blocking UV rays that compromise performance and limit effectiveness in crop protection. Joint research with the USDA suggests that biopesticides encapsulated with eShield’s sustainable coating have superior UV protection and sustained lethality to targeted insect pests compared to biopesticides without eShield coating.
eShield Microencapsulation Technology is applicable to many crops, particularly fruits and vegetables that can be tainted by residual chemical pesticides. It is also applicable for biopesticides used to protect grain crops.
Because eShield shows significant potential to extend the life and the killing power of biopesticides, we believe biopesticides will be more attractive to agribusiness and their adoption may accelerate. Reducing the world’s reliance on chemical pesticides would be good news for everyone.