Overview of the Indian Crop Protection Market

Agriculture is the backbone of Indian economy with 52% of the population engaged in agriculture and related activities. But the sector’s share in Indian economy has declined to 13.7% in terms of GDP because of higher growth rates of the industrial and services sector, which needs to be addressed considering its importance in our Socio-economic development. Indian Agriculture has been facing grave challenges for many years. The most important being “sustained development in proportion to the exploding population”. Even after the Green Revolution in mid 60s, we are still not fully self-sufficient in Agriculture. The growth rate of agriculture is not able to cope up with rapidly growing population. Land under agriculture is limited but number of people being fed on the piece of land is constantly increasing. Due to inadequate irrigation facilities, lack of proper crop protection measures, poor seed quality of food grains, the output is far below world average.

Water shortage is a major problem in one part of the country while crops are damaged year after year due to flood in some other parts of the country. Of the total cultivable land merely 40% area is covered by irrigation and rest 60% depends on monsoon. On an average, farmers’ income has come down by 3 per cent in 2014-15 and by 4 per cent in 2015-16 due to crop losses as a result of shortage of rainfall.  During 2014 and 2015, monsoon shortage was around 12 per cent and 14 per cent from the long period averages. In 2016-2017, the Southern State Tamil Nadu faced the worst water crisis and rainfall shortage (62% deficit) in recent times resulting in heavy loss of paddy crops (800 hectares of paddy withered) in the Cauvery delta region and added misery to the farmers of this region.

For many decades various plans are only on paper and not implemented effectively. It is a pity that the farmers are dependent on monsoon even now and the technologies like drip irrigation have not reached the farmers in many parts of the country for adequate water supply to crops and in the same way flood water is not channelized for proper irrigation to avoid damage to crops. There is much to be done by introducing innovative technologies to face the natural calamities and mere compensation and insurance for crop losses will not bring substantial growth in agriculture and relief to farmers.

The second imperative challenge faced by the Indian agriculture is the colossal losses caused by the insect pest attack on the crops.  About 20% crop production is lost due to insects, weeds and diseases but still Indian Crop protection chemicals usage is one of the lowest and erratic in the global scenario even though there is no dearth for agricultural scientists and technologists in the country.

The per capita consumption of pesticides in India is 0.6 Kg/ha as compared to 3kg/ha of world average. The main reason for low per capita consumption of pesticides in India is low purchasing power of farmers and small land holdings. There are signs of change in this scenario due to the entry of big food products retailers and manufacturers.  In order to increase yield and ensure food security for its enormous population, extensive crop protection measures are very essential. Indian Crop protection chemical usage pattern for decades has not changed much with insecticides contributing to 55%, followed by herbicides 23%, fungicides 18% and  the  rest other products such as bio-pesticides, plant growth regulators except in recent years herbicide and fungicide usage is on the increase. This contributes to the higher production of fruits, vegetables and soybean.

Andhra Pradesh & Telegana, Punjab, Maharashtra lead in consumption of crop protection chemicals followed by other states. Madhya Pradesh has been benefited a lot by proper crop protection usage and emerging as one of the important Soybean producing region not only in the country but globally. A rise in the usage of agrochemicals has also been observed in West Bengal where the purchasing power of farmers had been low.

The estimated consumption of crop protection products in FY15 in terms of value is around 2.25 billion USD and the expected growth in the coming years is 7% annually. Export of pesticides also comes to almost equal value with a slightly higher growth rate expected in the near future.

Agrochemical industry has come a long way in the last four decades and could cater to the needs of farmers with hundreds of products for crop protection. Till 80s, Indian farmers were far behind their counter parts with old products of MNC and then Indian companies with their R& D skill came out with number of generic molecules at cheaper costs affordable by majority of farming community.

India could become self-sufficient in many food crop production because of this development, a fact which could not be denied. But then came the situation where the cost of manufacturing of technical products is very much cheaper in China as compared to that of India. This can be attributed to vast number of manufacturing units in China with cost effective technology for production of active ingredients, availability of raw materials and halting production of pesticide technical by MNCs in various countries and shifting their units in massive scale to China.  Therefore Indian companies have no option left with except importing in many cases rather than to manufacture. Patent compliance also restricts manufacture of latest molecules and so MNCs have an upper hand in providing new formulation products. Indian companies could only co-market a few products under arrangement.

At this juncture, the ministry of agriculture has proposed some sweeping changes in registration guidelines for curbing imports of technical that are registered by Indian companies for indigenous manufacturing. This is to encourage the Indian technical manufacturers and to support the Indian Government’s call for “MAKE IN INDIA”. But the reality is different and the Indian manufacturers are not yet geared up to manufacture many technical for which they have registration to manufacture. Without giving sufficient time to the Industry to strengthen their manufacturing capabilities, if the proposed rules are implemented now, there will be a big supply vacuum of many products.  This may have a   negative impact on the Indian agriculture and the pesticide industry. The Indian registration authorities & the Industry should analyse the situation thoroughly and come out with practical solution for registration of import of molecules as well as for indigenous manufacturing keeping in view of the above facts. This will enable the farmers to get new products at affordable cost and also illegal imports be curbed substantially.

The need of the hour is Indian companies should be more aggressive in research and development to come out with cost effective commercial manufacturing process for  novel molecules like Chlorantrilaniliprole, Flubendamide (patent expires in a few years) among others.

Industry should concentrate more on development of new formulations that are eco-friendly and production of effective bio-pesticides, PGRs, bio-stimulants, micro nutrients so that farmers have access to these products that will boost the crop yield and enrich the soil condition. Government agencies, Universities and Industry should come together in imparting proper knowledge on the usages and effectiveness of crop protection products and more importantly should dispel the myth about the crop protection chemicals (as evils) from the mind of the public. One should not forget that the inherent strength of India is agriculture and the same should be nurtured. “GROW IN INDIA” is equally an important agenda.

Topics:

Agrichemicals

Agrichemicals

FMC Corp. Receives Clearances to Acquire DuPont Crop Protection Assets

FMC Corp. has received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the proposed acquisition of a significant portion

Agrichemicals

Arkansas Plant Board Backs 2018 Regulatory Changes for Dicamba

The Board’s regulatory changes concerning the use of dicamba will now be subject to a 30-day public comment period which will be followed by a public hearing that will be held on Nov. 8.

Agrichemicals

Univar Acquires Tagma Brasil

Tagma formulates more than 200 registered crop protection products and provides conception and preparation of new formulations; adaption of existing formulations; and technical assistance with processing and regulatory requirements.

Agrichemicals

Cropchem Obtains Registration for Three Formulations in Brazil

Cropchem, a Brazilian company specialized in the distribution of pesticides in the Brazilian market, has obtained the final registration for

Agrichemicals

How AgroStar Is Leading the Way to Simplify India’s Distribution

The start-up and innovative disruptor talks to AgriBusiness Global about how its farmer-facing app is changing distribution in India.

Agrichemicals

Kleffmann Group Expands, Strengthens amis AgriGlobe

Based on the rising client interest in aggregated market data for global crop protection and seed markets and the need to evolve dynamically in response to the complex clients’ requests, Kleffmann Group has strengthened its’ Consulting Division amis®AgriGlobe®.

Agrichemicals

Bayer Dismisses Antitrust Concerns about Digital Farming

Bayer said it was unable to propose the sale of any digital farming assets to allay EU concerns about its

Agrichemicals

Bayer Sees Brazil ‘Returning to Normal in 2018’; Reveals R&D Plans

Liam Condon presents at the company’s Future of Farming Dialog 2017 on Sept. 18-20.

Agrichemicals

Thailand Proposes to Ban Paraquat, Chlorpyrifos by 2019

CropLife Asia issues statement.

Fungicides

BASF Introduces Pageant TR Intrinsic Brand Fungicide

BASF has introduced Pageant TR Intrinsic brand fungicide, the newest in its line of Total Release fungicide and insecticide solutions.

Agrichemicals

Will Mega-mergers Change the Agriculture Industry’s DNA?

The recent mergers of numerous chemical and agricultural companies are said to be the biggest farm-business oligopoly in history. An

Agrichemicals

Syngenta: Court Rules in its Favor in Patent Infringement Suit

The jury found that Willowood infringed a patent relating to the manufacture of the fungicide azoxystrobin.

Agrichemicals

Bayer, Bosch Develop Smart Spraying Technology for Crop Protection

Concept to be presented at Agritechnica 2017 in Hanover.

Agrichemicals

FMC Launches Incentive Program

FMC Freedom Pass, started Sept. 1, 2017, is available to growers who purchase FMC crop protection products from an authorized retailer.

Agrichemicals

BASF Bids on Bayer Seed Assets – Reuters

DowDuPont and Syngenta AG are also competing for Bayer’s canola, cotton and soybean seed varieties, as well as the Liberty herbicide system.

Agrichemicals

New Bayer CFO to Lead Monsanto Integration

Bayer AG has named a new chief financial officer who, among other duties, will lead the integration of Monsanto Co.

Agrichemicals

Dow Expands Enlist System with Addition of Enlist One

With the ability to tank-mix with glufosinate, farmers can use Enlist One in their weed control programs that feature multiple modes of action.

Nufarm-Photo-credit-Luis-Ascui
Agrichemicals

Nufarm Assessing Global Acquisitions

Crop protection company Nufarm says it is considering a number of acquisitions in response to speculation it could pounce on

Herbicides

Iowa Farmers Make Record Number of Pesticide Misuse Claims

About three-fourths of Shane Susie’s 80-acre soybean field was damaged after getting hit with dicamba that drifted over his crops

Latest News

Agrichemicals

FMC Corp. Receives Clearances to Acquire DuPont Crop Protection Assets

FMC Corp. has received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the proposed acquisition of a significant portion

Agrichemicals

Arkansas Plant Board Backs 2018 Regulatory Changes for Dicamba

The Board’s regulatory changes concerning the use of dicamba will now be subject to a 30-day public comment period which will be followed by a public hearing that will be held on Nov. 8.

Agrichemicals

Univar Acquires Tagma Brasil

Tagma formulates more than 200 registered crop protection products and provides conception and preparation of new formulations; adaption of existing formulations; and technical assistance with processing and regulatory requirements.

Agrichemicals

Cropchem Obtains Registration for Three Formulations in Brazil

Cropchem, a Brazilian company specialized in the distribution of pesticides in the Brazilian market, has obtained the final registration for

Agrichemicals

How AgroStar Is Leading the Way to Simplify India’s Distribution

The start-up and innovative disruptor talks to AgriBusiness Global about how its farmer-facing app is changing distribution in India.