According to the recent study of Fact.MR, the agriculture films sales are estimated to exceed 4300 tons in 2019, recording a Y-o-Y growth at more than 4.0% over 2018. Gains in the agricultural films industry remains influenced by numerous multipronged factors, ranging from the development of biodegradable and eco-friendly alternatives, to introduction of affordable machines for fast yet efficient laying down of films on a large scale.
The study finds that mulch plastic films are preferred over other agricultural film variants, with sales in 2019 estimated at over 2200 tons. Comparatively larger sales of mulch plastic films can be backed by its unparalleled effectiveness in increasing farmland yield. In addition, mulch plastic films has gained widespread acceptance among farmers worldwide, as it facilitates creating favorable microclimatic conditions for accelerating the growth of crops.
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The study opines that exponential growth in food demand in recent years will remain the leading sales influencer of agricultural films. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the demand for food is estimated to increase by 70% by 2050.
Mulch plastic films, on account of their unmatched benefits and effectiveness in increasing the agricultural productivity, will continue to witness robust demand, in line with the surging food demand in the foreseeable future. Mulch plastic films complement the use of drip irrigation and polymer-based fertilizer release practices, enabling easy and time-effective production of high-quality agricultural produce.
Biodegradability of PBAT Attracting Agricultural Films Manufacturers
Environmental abuse of plastic has been one of the key concerns, which led the agricultural films industry players to seek biodegradable alternatives to polyethylene. The non-biodegradable nature of traditional plastics is causing excessive pressure on landfills worldwide. However, a recent study by ETH Zurich concluded the biodegradability of PBAT or polybutylene adipate terephthalate to favor agriculture films manufacturers.
The study of ETH Zurich states that PBAT can undergo complete biodegradation in soil over a period of six weeks making it an ideal replacement for polyethylene with the former exhibiting all the properties required for cost-effective production of agriculture films. Additionally, accelerating development of novel recycling processes and their conversion into goods reusable in agricultural applications, are expected to augur well for growth of the agriculture film market.
Rapid Adoption of Organic Farming Practices to Impede Sales
According to the study, growing consumer awareness about the health benefits associated with the consumption of organic food products, and increasing inclination towards paying more for these products is driving the adoption of organic farming practices. With organic farming practices being based around the principles of avoiding the use of synthetic substances, agriculture films sales are expected to remain directly impacted.
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Food processing companies are now preferring the use of products cultivated organically, in order to boost their profits by capitalizing on rising preference for organic food. This coupled with, numerous studies that recommend prohibition of plastic use in the food chain, are estimated to confine agricultural films sales in the near future. Although agricultural films manufacturers are introducing novel biodegradable products in the market, the higher production costs incurred during the manufacturing of these products is further restraining their adoption.