Nov. 9, 2017
In a way different from conventional pesticide and fertilizer products, biostimulants have developed rapidly in recent years due to their multiple functions, such as the facilitation of crop growth, enhancement of the physical and chemical properties of soil, and the strengthening of plant adverse resistance and tolerance to abiotic stress. Some days ago, AgroPages interviewed Labarre Arnaud, biostimulant global marketing manager, and Kharwadkar Prashant, the director, North Asia, Arysta, who shared with us the status and future strategy of Arysta’s stimulant business in the Chinese market.
Arysta is a top 10 global agrochemical company, but it is not very well-known among Chinese distributors. When did Arysta start its biostimulant business?
Labarre Arnaud: Arysta has been engaged in the biostimulant business for many years. Arysta cooperated with a Japanese company 20 years ago to promote the product Atonik, followed by the acquisition in 2007 of GBM, a Mexican biochemical company dedicated to plant extracts and humic acid active substance. In 2014, Arysta acquired Goemar Lab, which kicked off our seaweed extraction business. We have been specialized in seaweed extraction for many years and have 40 years of experience in production and promotion.
Many biostimulant enterprises have emerged in China in recent years. Compared with its competitors, what advantages does Arysta have? And what are Arysta’s future global and Chinese market strategies?
Labarre Arnaud: Arysta has considerable competitive advantages in three ways: 1) Arysta has a long history of working in this industry, and our biostimulant research personnel have a strong technical background; 2) Arysta is willing to make large investments worldwide, in the Asian market as well as the Chinese market. Arysta is also looking to opportunities to develop new products in support of local businesses; and 3) Arysta always gives special priority to the efficacy of the product. On one hand, Arysta studies the product's action mechanism in cooperation with technical institutions, and on the other hand, through experiments, we continually present effective products to farmers, which brings them a real benefit.
At present, Arysta’s agrochemical business operation covers more than 100 countries or regions across the globe, with the growing biostimulant business currently covering 60 countries or regions. In the coming years, Arysta is prepared to take great strides in our biostimulant business operations: 1) Through the expansion of our territory of trade, Arysta is moving to capture a larger market share; 2) our biostimulant product line is being broadened, including through cooperation with third parties and acquisition of companies, as appropriate; and 3) ensuring product efficacy and action mechanisms will be further expedited.
How would you comment on the changes in the Chinese biostimulant market? What is the position of the Chinese market in terms of Arysta’s global presence?
Kharwadkar Prashant: The global biostimulant business is developing rapidly, at an average pace of 12 percent per year, which is almost double the growth of the agrochemical industry. China is a large agricultural country, which covers a wide range of crops. China is regarded as one of the top six countries with great biostimulant market potential, so it has naturally attracted a high degree of attention at Arysta headquarters.
To date, Arysta has launched nine biostimulant products in the Chinese market, seven of which are seaweed extracts. So far, Arysta has the highest number of organic soluble fertilizer registrations among foreign-invested companies in China. Arysta also has a metallic element-containing product – Titanic -- which is a rare and unique product in the market at the present time. This product has an obvious effect, protecting transplanted seedlings against disease as well as enhancing photosynthesis.
Over the coming period, Arysta is prepared to bring more products and resources to the Chinese market, including introducing new products and human resources to grow its sales network in depth and range. In the meantime, Arysta is planning the launch of a novel fungicide and seed coating agent in the Chinese market in the years ahead. The seed coating agent will be combined with a biostimulant for application to field crops such as corn, rice, and wheat, besides applications to high-value crops such as fruits and vegetables.
Can you brief us on how Arysta promotes biostimulant products in China?
Kharwadkar Prashant: Compared with our competitors, Arysta pays more attention to market segmentation. Before taking over Goemar Lab in 2014, Arysta adopted the “key account sales model” for the biostimulant business. This is a customized supply that helped customers run their own brands; it increased customer loyalty in our favor. Since 2015, new sales channels have been developed. Arysta is very experienced in managing sales channels. We have built up our stable and dependable sales team in the agrochemical business segment, which includes seed coating agents and miticide. Besides technical presentations and training for prime distributors, we have also taken care of small-scale dealers and farmers by providing them with necessary advice.