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Interview: Mancozeb Works well, Indofil’s Foray into LATAM Gaining Tractionqrcode

Aug. 7, 2017

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Aug. 7, 2017
Usted puede encontrar la versión en español de este artículo aquí. 'Mancozeb Funciona Bien, la Incursión de Indofil en LATAM Ganando Tracción'

Established in 1962, a part of the K. K. Modi group, Indofil is an important agrochemical player in India and known as fungicides player globally.

EBDC chemistry is the strength of Indofil, and Mancozeb is its leading product. Indofil is recognized as a quality manufacturer of various

Mr. Narendra Rane  

Chief Operating Officer (Global II- Agro & Specialty) of Indofil
agrochemical technicals, innovative solo and mixture formulations. It focuses on the backward integration and and operates on highest standards of EHS.
Q: As we know, Indofil has a wide presence in more than 100 countries. What is the Latin America (LATAM) market’s role in your global strategy? 
A: Indofil has registered products in more than 100 countries. In India, we have strong brand market, contributing more than 50% to our total turnover. Europe is the second largest contributor to the Indofil business, followed by Latin America.

However, with our planned investments in Brazil, it will alone overtake Europe in the next five years.
Q: Please briefly introduce the history of Indofil in LATAM market, when did you enter Brazil market and how do you think of this market?
A: Latin America was always important for Indofil because of its agriculture-based economies, varied agro climatic zones and cropping patterns. Indofil made its entry into Mexico way back in 1998 and since then has made its presence felt in all Latin American countries providing agrochemicals solutions.

We have subsidiaries in Costa Rica and Brazil. The Brazilian agrochemicals market, which is the largest among all markets with its intensive agriculture and large land holdings, was always a target of growth for Indofil and we made our first entry into Brazil in 2004. The Brazil market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.0% during 2017-2022. Brazil is the largest agrochemical consuming country in the South American region. In the last decade, Brazil is emerging as an agricultural superpower due to the increased use of mechanized and highly evolved agriculture practices for food, fiber and alternate energy, taking leading positions in production and exports.  Brazil will remain an important country for investment and growth for Indofil.

Q: What products have you introduced into Brazil market? 
A: Indofil initially registered Manfil (Mancozeb) in Brazil’s fruits and vegetables disease segment a couple of years ago. We are also in the process of registering our other products in this segment. Indofil is focusing on an emerging opportunity in Soybean rust through its multisite product Mancozeb, an essential tool for the resistance management program, and plans to develop mixtures with Triazoles, Strobilurins and SDHI products. Seed treatment is an important segment in Brazil and Indofil is exploring this opportunities with novel formulations.
Q: In 2016, the Brazil agrochemical market reported a slight drop, however, the fungicides market performed well. How is the performance of Mancozeb? 
A: The Brazilian agrochemical market, in terms of value, slightly declined last year, but it’s mainly due to currency conversion; however overall volumes remained unchanged. Mancozeb volumes are growing consistently after it received a label claim for Soybean diseases.

As far as Manfil is concerned, we recorded good growth in volumes in line with overall market growth and expect growth to be continued in the coming years.

Q: What factors do you think made your product Manfil successful in Brazil, especially against the Soybean rust you just mentioned? 
A: Asian rust is a known dreaded disease in Soybean. If left untreated, rust can cause damage to the tune of 80%, and the grower has to face heavy financial losses. To combat Asian rust today, SDHI chemistries are extremely effective, but are highly prone to resistance development. The heavy use of Triazoles and Strobilurins in the past has developed resistance against rust, creating panic among Soybean growers. This fact is already a cause of concern for the government and regulatory authorities. Use of Mancozeb in combination (as a tank mix partner) with Strobilus and, Triazoles, and also as an alternate spray has demonstrated better Soybean rust management. It also increases the life cycle of resistant prone fungicide molecules. Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia authorities have joined together to form strategies to combat rust. Authorities are advising farmers to incorporate the use of multisite products, such as Mancozeb in Soybean sprays program to address fungicides resistance against Soybean rust. Of late, Mancozeb use has shown a significantly upward trend in Soybean and Indofil, with its Manfil (Mancozeb) is playing an important role in Soybean rust management program.

Indofil is working with agrochemical companies to promote Mancozeb and other formulations in Soybean and for many other crops. We are collaborating with research institutes, agriculture universities and eminent agricultural scientists to identify the right use of Mancozeb under a unique microclimate for the Soybean crop. To augment expected future demand, Indofil is building additional Mancozeb capacity in India. 

Q: Adverse factors hinder the Brazil markets for years: real devaluation, illegal products, fall in prices, plague incidence level in crops, and climate. What do you think and what are your solutions?
A: Agriculture is a sector, which is influenced by many external variables in most countries and Brazil is no exception to it. Agrochemicals are mostly imported in Brazil and the real devaluation should have a negative effect. However, the Brazilian growers also export a large part of their production and can absorb currency fluctuation much better. A fall in commodity prices is a major concern as it is a market--based phenomenon. Most of agri-inputs companies in Brazil protect themselves with credit insurance and barter trade contracts, wherever it is possible. Regarding illegal products, this is a point that authorities and industry are trying to reduce by improving inspections. Plagues and climates are associated with each other, but Brazilian agriculture is highly advanced in predictive agriculture and, farmers are adopting new technologies. This helps in planning the crop management effectively to combat adversities.
Q: There is also some good news for the year 2016/17, Brazilian soybeans and corn crops are estimated a robust growth and Indofil will build a new technical plant in Dahej (Gujarat). Can we expect a more promising future of your business in the Brazil market? 
A: Over the past 25 years, Brazil has grown from just another agricultural producing country to the main agricultural competitor of the United States. During the 25 year period from 1990 to 2014, the acreage of Brazil's three main crops, soybeans, corn, and sugarcane has increased 106.8% with production of those three crops increasing 197.4%.

The new Mancozeb plant in Dahej will allow Indofil to supply increasing demand for soybean, cotton and corn markets. We also expect few more registrations in the 2017 season.
Q: What is your vision for the future development of the LATAM agchem market and your market planning and performance expectations accordingly? 
A: Latin America will remain a focus region for Indofil. We are registering our other core products and investing in front end activities. Indofil is also co-operating with alliance partners in the region for market development, joint registration programs and joint marketing of products.

We believe Mancozeb consumption will grow with more and more awareness about resistance management in Brazil and adjoining countries. In the near future, the Soybean crop may need at least two applications of multisite products, such as Mancozeb in the rust management program. Besides soybean, cotton and corn represent new good opportunities for product development.

Indofil has recently commissioned a new technical synthesis plant with infrastructure to produce multiple chemistries and products. Various solo and mixture products are planned for various geographies in LATAM. Indofil is expecting a significant amount of value creation through these chemistries going forward.

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