Plant biostimulants are products that contain substances and/or micro-organisms whose function when applied to plants or the soil is to stimulate natural processes independently of the product’s nutrient content in order to enhance or benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, yield and crop quality.

Plant biostimulants are an important tool for sustainable agriculture due to their ability to enhance tolerance to abiotic stress, nutrient use efficiency, crop performance and quality. They are complementary to mineral fertilizers by improving their effect through the improved availability, assimilation, translocation and use of plant nutrients to the plants. Plant biostimulation is thus part of the 4R nutrient stewardship toolbox available to farmers.

Discover more about biostimulants in our backgrounder:

An Introduction to Biostimulants

What are plant biostimulants? How do plant biostimulants work? Examples of plant biostimulant components.




Listen to IFA Chief Scientist Dr. Achim Dobermann discuss biostimulants with guests Patrick du Jardin, Senior Scientist, Professor of Plant Biology, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, and Prem Warrior, Chief Operating Officer, Valagro, in IFA’s first ever podcast!

This podcast can also be downloaded here.

About the guest speakers

Patrick du Jardin

Professor Patrick du Jardin is Senior Scientist, Professor of Plant Biology at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège since 1996, of which he was Dean of faculty in the period 2007-2009. He is an expert in plant physiology and nutrition and his current research is focused on the action of microbial and non-microbial biostimulants on crop plants. He was chairman of the scientific committee of the 4th world congress on the Agricultural uses of Biostimulants. Patrick has a long-standing expertise in the risk assessment of agricultural technologies and was vice-chair of the EFSA GMO panel between 2012 and 2015. He has also been a member of the ethics committee of the French Institutes INRA and Cirad.

Prem Warrior

Dr. Prem Warrior is the Chief Operating Officer at Valagro, a leading company in the biostimulants space. Previously, he was a Senior Regional Advisor on the Agricultural Development team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle. He concurrently served as a Senior Program Officer and the Team Leader for the Postharvest & Markets group at the Gates foundation. Prem has a PhD in Plant Pathology/Nematology and an MBA in general business. He has published more than 70 scientific peer-reviewed publications, has over 80 international patents and has been associated with the discovery and development of several agricultural products including insecticide, nematicide, plant growth regulators and biostimulants.