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ADAMA: Focusing on Value Innovation and Advanced Proprietary Formulation Technologies, Delivering More Effective, Sustainable and Differentiated Productsqrcode

May. 27, 2024

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May. 27, 2024

Editor’s Note: The crop protection industry is currently facing the two-pronged challenge of high channel inventory and declining prices. Meanwhile, the growing demand from farmers for more effective, sustainable, and user-friendly products has brought tremendous opportunities for formulation technology innovation.

In this context, ADAMA has stated that it will continue to increase investment in advanced formulation technologies, innovative delivery technologies, and the development of differentiated mixture products that align with the "Value Innovation" concept.

Recently, AgroPages interviewed ADAMA's Sugata Roy, Head of Global Formulations and Delivery Technologies, and Alex Mills, Head of Global Fungicides. During this interview, they shared the company's initiatives aimed at addressing industry challenges and driving innovation. They delved into various aspects of ADAMA's approach to the "Value Innovation" costumer segment, including its core advantages in serving this segment with cutting-edge formulation technologies and products. Additionally, Roy and Mills shed light on the emerging short- and long-term opportunities in the industry.


Sugata Roy 

Head of Global Formulations and Delivery Technologies at ADAMA

Alex Mills 

Head of Global Fungicides at ADAMA

AgroPages: How is ADAMA handling the two-pronged challenge of high channel inventory and declining prices that is happening across the industry? How have these challenges impacted the sales and new product promotion of ADAMA's formulation products?

Alex Mills: Throughout 2023, the crop protection industry as a whole faced challenging market conditions and it's clear that the 2024 market remains challenging.  In response, we initiated a multi-faceted approach. We managed our own inventory levels by scaling back manufacturing and procurement activities, thus limiting our own inventory buildup. Simultaneously, we've prioritized sales efforts with distributors globally, optimizing sales at competitive prices while closely monitoring market dynamics. Despite these challenges, we've maintained our commitment to innovation, introducing over 11 new unique solutions in 2023 alone.

With fewer new active ingredients entering the market and the necessity for new tools and solutions to farm sustainably, addressing changing agronomic practices, new regulatory requirements, and consumer preferences, we see a growing appetite for innovation, tailored to address the ever-changing challenges our customers face. We believe our development capabilities and unique formulation technologies position us well to capitalize on opportunities in 2024 and beyond. 

AgroPages: ADAMA emphasizes the "Value Innovation" segment in the company's recent statements. How do you define this customer segment and what kind of innovation are they looking for? 

Alex Mills: The ″Value Innovation″ segment is the largest growing customer segment within the crop protection market. These growers around the world are increasingly seeking advanced, high-quality solutions with a high return on investment. ADAMA's pipeline of differentiated products provide the kind of tangible benefits they need such as improved efficacy, enhanced product usability, and sustainability.  

We’re turning our active ingredients portfolio into an innovation engine by optimizing the performance of existing AIs with proprietary, advanced formulation technology platforms.

These technologies, already present in the market, offer distinct advantages such as rainfastness, improved leaf penetration, ease of use, and more, ultimately leading to enhanced efficacy - something farmers prioritize above all else.

For us, Value Innovation extends beyond merely expanding our portfolio; it embodies a systemic approach to delivering value to our customers. From accessing cutting-edge technology to developing tailored solutions and implementing commercial strategies, we prioritize delivering value at every step of the process, always keeping the customer's needs at the forefront of our efforts.

AgroPages: What are ADAMA’s core advantages in formulation technology innovation?  

Sugata Roy: ADAMA has been pioneering this kind of innovation in the crop protection industry for many years, and now, we're accelerating it further. Since we are agnostic to where AIs were initially developed, this opens us up to trying some creative combinations that achieve unique results based on our proprietary technologies. 

We have invested years of research, design, and testing to create proprietary, advanced formulation technologies that allow us to take existing molecules and combine or transform them into more effective, sustainable, and user-friendly products. Our fast innovation capabilities effectively turn off-patent AIs into patented, superior products with key attributes that farmers and the food value chain are telling us they want. And we aim to do this faster and more often than any other company. 

AgroPages: Farmers and consumers have become increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of agrochemicals. What innovative technologies and strategies has ADAMA adopted to improve the resistance and adaptability of its formulation products?

Sugata Roy: We continually explore new combinations with our latest technologies to develop new products that align with the growers' preferences, including reducing the environmental footprint of our products.

For example, our T.O.V. proprietary technology enhances the biological efficacy of oil-based formulations by combining a contact fungicide with systemic active ingredients dissolved in oil. This innovative approach enhances rainfastness and improve penetration. This technology delivers an easy-to-use liquid pre-mix that provides broad-spectrum disease control and robust long-term disease management.

Our Sesgama™ technology is based on a unique in-house developed polymeric surfactant to create high-load suspensions with excellent stability. This technology allows for the use of less packaging material and lowers the environmental footprint of the product, while also offering ease of use for farmers though reduced volume application, less nozzle clogging, and less waste generation. 

We also have our Asorbital® technology which enables optimized penetration into cereal leaves, for enhanced and long-lasting protection. It uses a unique solubilizing system to facilitate penetration of the AIs into the leaf, thereby achieving better performance. This enables more effective delivery of the AI to the target site due to the improved uptake. 

Also, our Delivery Technologies unit developed a new proprietary technology that provides enhanced rainfastness in a variety of formulations involving protectant fungicides and certain insecticides. It is ideal for regions with a wet climate and intermittent rainfall, as it significantly reduces wash-off under wet conditions.

We have also developed a new proprietary adjuvant technology to enhance the biological efficacy of water-based formulations through improved spreading and penetration. This technology optimizes product features to maximize the function related to the active ingredient's mode of action, resulting in increased efficacy and improved yield of produce.

And one more example is our Desidro® technology based molluscicide products that offer pellets more appealing to the target pests than existing alternatives, along with superior rapid-stop feeding effect and prolonged pellet integrity compared to current Ferric-Phosphate products on the market. Field tests have shown that products using Feralla® speed up mollusc death by 70% during the first three days following application, resulting in a 90% reduction in feeding damage during those 3 days.

Our formulation technologies are already in the market, and there are exciting new technologies on the way. 

AgroPages: Recently ADAMA shared that various launches in certain regions supported the company's performance. Could you elaborate on the main formulation and other innovations in your key markets? 

Alex Mills: ADAMA continues to register and launch new differentiated products in key markets to address local needs. In the first quarter of 2024, we improved the quality of our business, succeeding in improving our gross margin, despite a decline in sales. This was achieved through the positive impact of new inventory sold, priced at market levels and an improvement in the sales mix of higher margin products. 

In Europe, we introduce a comprehensive cereal fungicide portfolio including Soratel®, Maxentis®, Forapro®, Maganic®, and Avastel®. These products address a range of farmer's agronomic needs across various disease segments and different application stages (T1, T2 and T3). This is a powerful demonstration of our ability to deliver value and innovation by enhancing the performance of existing molecules with formulation technologies, and offer products that provide excellent disease control, crop safety and cater to different market segments. 





In the Indian market, Trassid® emerged as a unique insecticide mixture with improved penetration and rainfastness, particularly effective against thrips in high-value crops like chili and cotton. 

In South America, we recently expanded the availability of our Apresa®, an effective herbicide, for soybean, corn and other crops. Additionally, our first biological fungicide, Actavan®, made its debut in Peru, harnessing plant extracts to fortify crop immunity and combat fruit rot. We expect to register this product in other Latin American countries, and in more regions such as Asia-Pacific and Europe, in the near future. 

Continuing our momentum, Almada®, a cornerstone in Brazil's crop protection arsenal, is expected to be launched in Paraguay for the 2024/25 season under the brand Kejano®. This broad-spectrum fungicide offers disease control without phytotoxicity, thanks to our patented T.O.V. formulation. 

Araddo®, which was launched in 2022 in Brazil, then 2023 in Paraguay, is recognized for its sustainability and efficacy in controlling hard-to-kill grasses and broadleaf weeds in soybean, corn, and wheat. This innovative herbicide earned the prestigious Best Formulation Innovation award at the IHS Markit Crop Science Forum and Awards. 

These are just some examples of the many differentiated solutions that we have brought to the market in the past year and plan to bring in the future. 


AgroPages: ADAMA has stated that it will continue to increase investment in advanced formulation technologies, innovative delivery technologies, and the development of differentiated mixture products. Could you share more specific plans and targets?

Sugata Roy: Over the years, ADAMA has strategically invested in cutting-edge formulation laboratories and infrastructure at its global R&D centers in Israel, India, Brazil, and China. We're not stopping there; continued investments will be made in these facilities to support in-house development, testing, and early evaluation of new formulation technologies. 

Currently, we are advancing, several next-generation formulation technology platforms, with a keen focus on key research areas such as mitigating spray drift, reducing agrochemical leaching into the soil, using biodegradable polymers for targeted release and occupational safety, and enhancing agrochemical use efficiency to reduce overall usage. 

In addition to our formulation innovations, our extensive portfolio of active ingredients is instrumental in enabling us to create differentiated mixtures. To support and expand on this, we continuously assess new active ingredients as they come off-patent that we feel will bring additional value to our customers. Our ongoing screening trials, conducted   at various global locations, have already yielded promising concepts aimed at minimizing resistance development, broadening the spectrum of activity, and providing longer-lasting control to reduce the need for frequent applications. 



AgroPages: What new short- and long-term opportunities do you see in the current market situation going forward? 

Alex Mills: In the short term, there are several favorable conditions. The consistent decrease in product inventories suggests a recovery from previously high levels, pointing towards an opportunity to meet the upcoming demand spikes more effectively. This is further supported by increased market confidence, anticipating a surge in demand for the remainder of the year. 

In the long term we are seeing more and more AIs coming off patent in the coming years: already the top 20 AIs in our market are off patent, with 34 additional patented AIs to be expired by 2028. This change positions us ideally to compete in the Value Innovation customer segment, as our innovation strategy is based on enhancing existing molecules through our formulation technologies. We'll continue to leverage strongly on our leading AI platform as well as our formulation technologies capabilities, we can secure a competitive advantage and sustain growth in the evolving market landscape.


This article will be published in AgroPages' upcoming '2024 Formulation&Adjuvant Technology' magazine.

If you'd  like to participate in it to show your insights and solutions or for any promotion demands in AgroPages, please contact Grace Yuan: grace@agropages.com


Source: AgroNews


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