INDIAN AGRICULTURE TODAY
Agriculture today is source of livelihood for 54% of Indian population. India has the second largest arable land of 161m/ha and has the highest irrigated area. However the importance of rainfall can be gauged from the fact that 62% of the area cultivated is dependent on monsoon.
India ranks 2nd largest in world agriculture production with diverse agro climatic conditions. No other country grows as many crops as we do because of agro bio diversity.
ROLE OF CROP CARE FEDERATION OF INDIA
Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) is not only the oldest but an apex federation of over 50 Indian manufactures dealing in agriculture inputs with PAN India presence. The basic purpose is advancement of crop protection and safety of farmers during field operations and storage.
CCFI serves as a responsible interface between Government and Industry at all levels including farmers, researchers and scientists.
“MAKE IN INDIA” INITIATIVE: MANUFACTURING HUB
Our members represent major agrochemical corporates who not only have their manufacturing facilities but constitute almost over 90% of the exports to 130 Countries globally giving credence to the fact that Indian Agrochemicals are well accepted across the world.
This is in line with government policy “Atmanirbhar Bharat” or promoting “Make in India”. The effort is to become self reliant, curtail surge in imports which had till now made Indian manufacturing non viable in certain molecules.
The initiative to Make in India would ensure increased domestic production making India a major agrochemical manufacturing hub. This would in turn increase exports projected to reach Rs. 60000Cr. in the next 2 - 3 years.
India Agrochemicals Trade Alarming Increase in Imports
Rs. 23,757 Cr.
Rs. 26,513 Cr.
Rs. 9096 Cr.
Rs. 12418 Cr.
Source: Ministry of Commerce Database
Allowing their Manufacture in India is the only way to curb the import. Importing pesticides formulation (finished products) only supports investment and employment outside India. This is most disadvantageous to our economy. Our import duty/tax and regulatory policies must disincentive import of finished products. India must impose minimum 30% custom duty on all such pesticides formulations import and also mandate their domestic production.
CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF AGROCHEMICALS
Though India ranks 2nd in the World agricultural production, we are 4th largest manufacture of agrochemicals after USA, China and Japan. Food and nutrition need of the growing population require a sustainable approach that put thrust on increase in production against the background of lower yields and decreasing farm sizes.
With the emergence of the newer pest India remains one of the lowest in terms of per capita consumption of pesticides at 400gm /ha.
Value of Agri output ($bn)
Pesticides Use (tonne)
Number of Pesticides Active Ingredients (Technical) Registered
Source: World Bank Database (accessed on 3rd September2018).
FAOSt at (accessed on 19th September 2018)
India’s share in global agricultural output is 12% but India’s share in global pesticides use is just around 1%.
The use of crop protection chemicals can increase crop productivity by mitigating crop losses due to pest and diseases. Insecticides are the largest Sub- Segment of agrochemicals with 55% market share where as herbicides constitute 21% as the fastest growing segment because of non availability of skilled labor on all crops of economic importance like cotton, paddy, soybean, sugarcane, vegetables and wheat, besides Cereal crops, Oil seeds, Fiber crops, Horticulture and plantations.
IN WORDS OF OUR CHAIRMAN - Padam Bhushan Shri. Rajnikant Shroff, Chairman CCFI
“Indian agriculture has come a long way from being subsistence to being the one that produce substantial trade surplus comparable to that of the service sector. With better strategies, our agricultural trade can easily fetch higher foreign exchange that can be utilized to financially support the foreign exchange investments required in other sector……. India now ranks number two in the world and is far ahead of the USA in agricultural production”.
MAJOR INDUSTRY RECOMMENDATION FOR PMB2020
The Indian agro chemical Industry studied the proposed Pesticides Management Bill 2020 and has made the following recommendation keeping in view surge in imports and focus on Make in India.
Technical registration should be made mandatory along with imported formulations as per the guidelines adopted in above 43 countries including USA, China, Europe, Brazil, Russia, Germany, France, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Tanzania, Guatemala etc.
On one side formulations are imported in sizable quantities/ value at the cost of foreign exchange outgo and on the other hand importers make huge profits from these import of formulations. Thus sizable profits are repatriated back in dollars to foreign countries.
India should not agree to any kind of data protection on pesticides beyond patent period of 20 years. India Patent Act provides enough protection for patented product to get introduced in the market were the inventor enjoys the monopoly for 20 years, after expiry of patents, India companies can manufacture the same generic in India at a price 50% to 80% lower than the inventor.
SINISTER ROLE OF FOREGIEN FUNDED NGOs
Lie by NGO's is about excessive use of crop protection chemicals in India, where we spend less than 1% of total agriculture production in value terms, which is fractional in global counter parts. As per the food samples analyzed by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) 98% of them were found to be compliant with the MRL values. India's pesticides consumption is one of the lowest in the world at 0.4kg/ha compared to UK 2.8 kg/ha, Japan 12.5 kg/ha and China 17kg/ha. In case of excessive usage, there is a need to spread awareness among the farmers on effective usage and time of application, which is being undertaken by the Crop Care Federation of India in different parts of the country.
DEMOLISHING MYTHS ON INFERIOR QUALITY
Indian agrochemical industry has grown exponentially over the years both in domestic consumption and exports. This has been possible on account of quality manufacturing by indigenous producers meeting global standards.
Today with Rs.55000 Cr. annual market, over Rs. 29000 Cr is exported to several countries. We have the capability and capacity to promote "Make in India" policy.
However, a false impression is being created by vested interests who are encouraging cheaper imports detrimental to genuine Indian Manufacturers that almost 40% pesticides are spurious or substandard in the Indian market.
The fact that Indian manufacturers manufacture quality pesticides has been collaborated by IARI and Ministry of Consumer Affairs Government of India during their survey on awareness in the Indian rural market.
Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Narender Tomar has presented similar figures in Parliament stating that during last 5 years 338182 sample were drawn out of which only 3971 sample (1.171%) did not meet specification / sub- standard, where prosecution was initiated (Lok Sabha Unstarred Question no. 309 Answered on 15th September, 2020).
Claim that upto 50% pesticides sold in the market in certain areas by companies is over exaggerated. This contention is totally false. As per all India Dealers Associations, Pesticides not meeting specification or sample failing should be between 2-3% only, for which blatant propaganda is being carried out by importers.
This also tarnishes the image of the Indian Agrochemicals industry where we are committed to manufacture quality products totally meeting specification to save unnecessary outgo of foreign exchange.
AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON QUALITY
Normally awareness campaigns are a measure of how well known a brand, firm, or product is perceived by the end user. CCFI adopted promotional tools like educational films to showcase the activities undertaken by us and our members. We have exclusively developed animation films in different regional languages highlighting various precautions while using agrochemicals right from the time they are procured from authorized dealers, their transportation and storage. Importance of label and leaflet was of immense importance for knowing crop pest matrix, the dosages recommended, steps to make spraying solution etc.
In all our farmer training programs we emphasize to totally avoid tobacco, smoking and drinking during spraying operation particularly by the contract labour. We also discouraged mixing of two or more molecules in the field. Rather the farmers should be using recommended registered combination products available in the market. We distributed free safety kits and ran a competition in several states to reward those operators who used them while spraying.
We have also released four Radio spots, of 30 Sec each, which have also been aired on FM channels.
CCFI TAKES THE LEAD IN FARMERS TRAINING
Crop Care Federation of India during the last few years has taken up the task of ensuring that the farming community and their contract labour are trained for proper and judicious use of pesticides and also to reach out in those areas which are affected by outbreak of sudden pest epidemic anywhere in the country. CCFI and its members project themselves and follow the dictum of protecting the environment, human beings, animals and crops.
Farmers training and awareness program has been our key focus area. No other association in India has taken such a lead on proper and judicious use of agrochemicals both as part of training and field demonstration.
Over the last 3 year CCFI has distributed free of cost, 75000 complete safety kits. Even during Covid pandemic we distributed them through Government agencies.
This effort has been a lauded by all stake holders and is unparallel in the agrochemical Industry in India.
Total number of CCFI events and training Programs so far are above 60 on PAN India basis and we have trained more than 100,000 of farmers and their contract labour.
CONTROL LOCUST BY DRONES
CCFI members not only supplied free of cost over 25KL. of recommended pesticides for control of locust which had entered the boarding state of Rajasthan after several years.
The spraying of pesticides were personally supervised which were very efficacious and had immediate knockdown: result demonstrating the quality of indigenous manufactured pesticides.
In a possible first, the government of India has permitted use of drones to combat the menace of desert locust invasion that threatened to destroy crops across the Afro- Asian region with border Indian states. Besides aircrafts were used for aerial spraying to combat the locust menace.
We can say with confidence that Indian Agrochemicals are responsible for reducing crop losses in field and during storage.
The article conclusively proves that the quality produced by Indian manufacturers meets global standards in term of specification & purity which has enabled Indian exports to touch currently Rs. 30,000 Cr. by indigenieous manufacturers alone focusing on Make in India towards Aatamnibhar Bharat, curtailing imports by MNCs resulting in saving of valuable foreign exchange.
This article was initially published in AgroPages' '2021 India Pesticide Suppliers Guide' magazine.