Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats

A list of factors that determine the success or failure comprises the attributes of a biopesticide. The chance for success is not only dependent on the product, but also on the environment in a broad sense in which it is to be used. These internal and external factors are often referred to as the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) factors, and a SWOT analysis can be made for each product. Such an analysis identifies the internal and external factors that have a favourable and unfavourable influence on the chance to achieve success. In Table 7.11 these factors are provided for biopesticides in general. When a specific new product is being developed, it is more interesting to list these SWOT factors specifically for this particular product. It provides more insight into the product in a broader context. A disadvantage of these factors is that they are only qualitative which could lead to subjective interpretations and valuing of these factors. An attempt should be made to rank them in order of relevance. A SWOT analysis can be a useful tool, and together with the five market considerations mentioned above, which are quantitative parameters, the potential of the product can be determined in a more reliable way.

The list of weaknesses of biopesticides is long, this cannot be ignored. And chiefly for this reason the use of biopesticides is restricted to niche markets at present. On the other hand, biopesticides have unique strengths, and the opportunities to exploit these will increase. Some weaknesses can turn into strengths, for instance, a small host spectrum makes them safe to use with natural enemies. Although many factors need to be considered by a company developing these products, a small number of factors can be decisive for its success. Honesty about the product is critical; over-promising will backfire at some point. Users may decide to use a biopesticide for just a small number of reasons. Examples are a short re-entry period or pre-harvest interval. Demands from the retailer to deliver residue-free produce may be another incentive for a grower to choose for a biopesticide, regardless of some disadvantages of the product. Still, costs and efficacy remain the most important features for a grower.

332 7 Critical Factors in the Successful Commercialization of Microbial Pest Control Products Table 7.11 Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for biopesticides

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