Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI), an industry body of pesticide manufacturers and formulators, claims that indigenous pesticides meet global standards and help farmers reduce 30% of annual crop losses in commercial and horticultural crops.
“There has been false propaganda that 40- 50% of pesticides are "spurious or substandard" in the market in not only false but tarnishes the image of genuine manufacturers. This is baseless,” said Harsh Mehta, senior advisor to CCFI.
Right to Information applications filed with various state governments by CCFI have also revealed that 97.2% of pesticide samples were quality products meeting international standards.
“Out of 54932 samples collected from agriculture department of various states during fiscal 2017-18 and 2018-19, only 1527 samples were found to be below standard or "not meeting specification". When the 'failed' 2.78% samples were sent for reanalysis, this failing percentage reduced further, giving credence to the fact that Indian agrochemicals are superior and accepted all across by the farming community,” Mehta claimed.
Indian agrochemical industry, a major component of Agri inputs, has grown exponentially over the years both in domestic consumption and exports. This has only been possible on account of quality manufacturing by indigenous producers meeting global standards.
“We have the potential to increase exports from existing $3bn to $8bn under favourable policies of government,” Mehta said.
A leading global firm McKinsey & Company, in its recent report on Indian Chemical Industry, estimated India can aim for deeper market penetration into global markets in agrochemical exports.
The body has also raised serious concerns with the new Pesticide Management Bill, which heightens the criminalisation of business operations, as there are penalties of up to Rs 50 lakh with an imprisonment up to 5 years or both, without differentiating between minor or major offences.
“There is no safeguard provision for the genuine manufacturer, who applies the product manufactured as per the regulatory framework formulated by a competent body like the Registration Committee.No one would take the risk of imprisonment for minor offences,” Mehta said.