Mar. 28, 2018
Kan biosys is the leading manufacturer of microbes based in India and has been working with microbes for over two decades. It offers advanced microbial technology from seed to harvest, and an array of selective and efficient strains of microbes are formulated for biopesticide, biostimulant and biofertilizer, using award winning and patented processes into hi-tech products. Recently, Sandeepa Kanitkar,Chairperson and Managing Director of Kan biosys shared her professional knowledge on biopesticide in an interview by AgroPages.
Could you please introduce Kan biosys to our readers, such as history of development, main business and future plan?
Sandeepa: Kan biosys is an agricultural biologics company engaged in discovery, development, production and commercializing products containing beneficial microbes. We help farmers to improve yields of crops sustainably and make farming economical. We work with the farmer to reduce residues and grow healthy food for all. Our R and D is harnessed through SMART Bioplatform. This platform churns out microbial technologies/ products in record time which help to manage nutrients, pests and soil health. We have the largest state of art fermentation facility in India at Pune near Mumbai in India to produce more than 1 million litres of liquid inoculants and 1000 tons of powder and granule based microbial inoculants.
Kan biosys has been working with microbes for over two decades. We have a culture repository of more than 5000 microbes and innovative SMART Bioplatform – SMBF to formulate microbes into marketable products. Being pioneers in this field it enables us to consistently be ahead of our competitors as our tried and tested SMBF reduces time to market considerably.
Kan biosys offers advanced microbial technology from seed to harvest. An array of selective and efficient strains of microbes are formulated, using award winning and patented processes into hi-tech products. Kan biosys is the best agricultural microbial company in India and would like to make a mark globally. Starting from first patent in Liquid biofertilizers in 1993 which enabled us not only to increase the shelf life and shelf-stability but also work on MCLF technique or more popularly known today as “Consortia approach”.
16 products have been registered in India and are certified for organic [ NOP- USA, NPOP -India, BFA- Australia and EU – Europe] and conventional residue free farming in 5 countries. Our products also have OMRI -USA listing. Future belongs to sustainable agriculture and we believe Kan biosys has a significant role in realizing the full potential and be the largest player in this field globally. Innovation is in our DNA which is the basis of our unique logo which encompasses the microbiome in all 4 spheres of our Mother Earth [ lithosphere-hydrosphere-agrosphere-atmosphere].
I noticed that most of Kan biosys' products derive from microorganism. What are advantages for growers and public by using these products?
Sandeepa: Kan biosys works with almost 42 distinct types of microbes which have been formulated into 16 products for –
1. On-farm dressing seed, precoating seeds, foliar biofertilizers, granular inoculants for nitrogen fixation, P solubilization, K and Zn mobilization.
2. Biofungicides based on Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas flourescens and Trichoderma viride, Bioinsecticides based on Bacillus thuringiensis, Verticillium leacanii, Metarrhizium anisopliae and Beauverria bassiana and bionematicides based on Trichoderma harzianum.
3. Recycling of crop waste – accelerated On-farm rice straw and sugarcane straw utilization.
The main advantages of the products –
a. Functional seed dressing by microbes which enable a healthy plant stand
b. Increase the fertilizer use efficiency of chemical fertilizers which directly impact the yield of crops and get more value for money
c. Stimulate plant growth by implanting plant growth promoting bacteria on foliage and root zone
d. Increase the efficiency of chemical pesticides which can increase the market life of pesticides. This has been done using thousands of compatibility tests which enable us to recommend our products in the tank-mix concentrations with chemical pesticides.
e. Reduce residues by using biopesticides in the pre-harvest interval.
f. Improve the soil carbon by accelerated recycling of crop residues. This imparts sustainability by conserving all resources used for farming – water, fertilizers, pesticides and favourably impacts biodiversity by reducing the carbon foot print.
Lately, Kan biosys is also venturing into public sanitation sector by formulating products for solid waste management of Municipal Urban Waste and management of vectors specially mosquitoes which cause notorious diseases like Malaria, Chickungunya and Dengue.
What are main country markets for Kan biosys now? And how do you think the rapidly development phenomenon of biopesticide in emerging markets like China and Brazil?
Sandeepa: Kan biosys is expanding its foot print in domestic markets. Right now we are working in 10 Indian states directly and indirectly through some bulk partners in 18 states. In 2 years we shall have a pan-India presence. Initially we were working with export-oriented crops like grapes, pomegranate but last 3 years we have diversified our crop base to include cotton, soybean, sugarcane, wheat, rice and vegetables.
We were the first Indian company to be able to export microbial inoculants. Right now, we are exporting to 5 countries. Kan biosys is in process of establishing its first off-shore office in the United States for reaching out to the rapidly developing markets in countries in North and South America. We are monitoring the scenario closely in Brazil where we shall be focusing on various field crops like sugarcane and soybean.
Do you have any products registered in USA or Europe？If yes, do you think what are the main challenges to register biopesticide in these developed regions?
Sandeepa: We have registered our nutrient management and soil health products in some states of United States and in Australia. We are monitoring the biopesticide market closely in USA and Australia. In Europe we are exploring several options. The procedure for EPA- USA and APVMA-Australia has commenced. The main challenges are data harmonization hurdles which results in duplication of work to some extent.
Indian chemical crop protection companies and pharma companies have created a good name for generics. Their foray into specialized branding has just started in the last five years or so. This is because India provides competitive manufacturing capacities which are further encouraged by “Make In India” initiative of the GOI. Kan biosys wishes to make its mark as the largest producer of quality biologics and enter into strategic relationships in different countries for expanding its horizons.
Do you sale your products directly in India? If yes, do you think what are the main challenges to bring these biopesticde to growers's hands?
Sandeepa: We have strong network of 1700 plus dealers across 10 states of India. This is being further expanded every year. We are also using ICT applications to be in touch with our farmers on basis of crop and zone. Indian farmers and the dealers require lot of hand-holding in terms of awareness and training to use biologicals. Earlier there was a “ TOUCH ME NOT “ syndrome associated with the use of biologicals. Slowly this is fading away. Awareness about the cost of cultivation and residues is much more in high-value horticultural crops like grapes, pomegranate, watermelon and banana. Farmers who export their produce are the first users of biologicals. Ease of use of biologicals due to compatibility tests carried out with commonly used chemical pesticides has improved the uptake of biofungicides and bioinsecticides considerably. Growing acceptance and results of quality biologicals has made the farmers take notice of biopesticides. He is now keen to acknowledge their use in the package of practices to reduce some sprays of chemicals. Likewise, the market life of chemical active ingredients is increased due to optimal and judicious use. With success of biofungicides and bioinsecticides in horticulture, growers are curious about nematode control and the awareness is growing coupled with other nutrient mobilizing inoculants. But all the earlier examples belong to elite classes of farmers.
Use of biologicals by the masses is growing due to yield stagnation observed in wheat-rice systems, cotton and soybean. In situ rice straw utilization is helping farmers rise to their full potential by maximizing fertilizer uptake and management of water judiciously. The success has also fuelled farmers interest in microbial seed dressing for soybean with PSB/Rhizbium inoculants. Zinc mobilizing inoculants are becoming popular in wheat -rice systems. Biofungicides coupled with microbial biostimulants are increasingly finding place in the farmers practice in cotton. Thus, slowly but surely biologicals are commanding their own rightful place in the inputs used by classes as well as by masses.
Biologics in my opinion may supersede the projected CAGR of 15% and use may double in 3 years in some markets.
For more information about Kan Biosys, please go to www.kanbiosys.com
2018 China-Overseas Biopesticides & Biostimulants Business Exchange Congress
(CBBC 2018) is an international scientific and commercial meeting to review the latest market knowledge on biopesticide and biostimulant products in China and the world, introduce the excellent biopesticides/biostimulants to China and foster China - Overseas business relationships.