Hebei Lansheng Biotech Co., Ltd. ShangHai Yuelian Biotech Co., Ltd.

Indian agrochemical industry set for sweeping transformationqrcode

Feb. 14, 2024

Favorites Print
Feb. 14, 2024


By - Burjis Godrej, Executive Director & COO – Crop Protection Business, Godrej Agrovet Limited 

India’s farmlands are currently caught in a catch-22. 


They need to produce more food than they ever have before to meet growing global and domestic demand. But they are being called upon to do so at a time when growing that food has never been harder. 


In such a scenario, the agrochemicals industry has a pivotal role to play in helping the agriculture sector meet not just the food needs of the present but also of future generations by utilizing innovation to help farmers grow more food, boost crop resilience to climate change and make farming sustainable. 


Additionally, with more resilient pests and diseases, a greater need to conserve fast-depleting resources and a growing thrust on sustainability, it needs to develop a new suite of solutions for a new, more conscious age. 


Buoyed by its growing global prominence, supportive government policies and increasing adoption of technology-enabled agricultural practices, the industry is doing just that and providing farmers with more effective and sustainable ways to protect their crops. 


Growing prominence of Indian agrochemicals 


India was the world’s second-largest exporter of agrochemicals as of 2022, with overseas shipments valued at $5.5 billion.1


Meanwhile, the domestic agrochemical market in India, which predominantly comprises insecticides, fungicides and bio pesticides, is also estimated to be around $2.8 billion.2


One of the key drivers that has propelled the Indian agrochemicals sector’s rise over the few years is the pivot of manufacturing companies to reduce their dependency on China by shifting production to India. 

But it has also been due to proactive measures by the government. 

Enabling policy environment 

The Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, which aims to promote domestic manufacturing, has played a crucial role in supporting the agrochemical industry. 

It has reduced regulatory hurdles and facilitated the upgrade of necessary infrastructure, enabling India to become a global hub for the manufacture of agrochemical products.

Still, with the government and industry investing heavily in research and innovation to develop new molecules, manufacturing processes, and green chemistry products, India’s agrochemical industry has barely scratched the surface of its potential. 

I said above how coaxing increasingly greater amounts of food from increasingly stressed farmlands is harder than it has ever been. 

Crops are under increased abiotic stress due to disrupted weather patterns and a warming climate. But they are also having to cope with greater biotic stress as pest and disease attacks in today’s changing climate become ever more frequent. 

Developing new products through innovation will be key to combating such challenges facing modern agriculture. 

It will also give our agrochemical industry even more of an edge globally. 

This is because such products would be developed for Indian conditions which are characterised by far greater biotic and abiotic stress compared to somewhere like Europe. So, in a sense then, as the rest of the world warms, India will already be ahead of the curve, ready to go to market with a suite of solutions developed specifically for warmer climates. 

Precision agriculture 

At the same time existing products would continue to have a major role to play in protecting crops. The availability and use certain red label agrochemical products have tended to raise eyebrows as they are perceived harmful. 

But breakthroughs in technology which are paving the way for precision farming are making it possible for them to be used in a safe, effective and sustainable manner. 

The use of drones for spraying crops, for instance, drastically slashes the dermal risk of the use of conventional agrochemicals. The more liberalised drone policy rolled out by India should speed up the adoption of drone for spraying purposes. 

At the same time, technologies like data analytics, predictive analytics, sensor-based Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and the use of terrain mapping and satellites are making it possible to precisely gauge weather, pest and soil conditions and quantity of inputs required. 

Armed with all of this information, farmers are able to apply the precise amounts of inputs, enough to protect the crop without hurting the soil quality or the environment. 

Precision farming is already delivering the results. 

Take the Tamil Nadu Precision Farming Project for Instance. According to a report by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), the project boosted average yields by 30-200 percent, depending on the crops.3


According to the same report, a study of orchard crops and vegetables that were grown with precision farming methods saw yields increase by 10-60 percent.

We have seen similar results with biostimulants like Double too. It has significantly boosted yields for farmers across a range of crops from cotton and soybean to groundnut and vegetables. 

The impact on other crops has been similarly sizeable. 


Need for collaboration 


Innovation, then, clearly is the key to cracking the productivity puzzle. But to be truly effective, innovation needs to be a collaborative effort. The government has created a policy environment that fosters innovation. Corporates need to loosen their purse strings and invest in R&D. 


Many have already taken the lead. In 2022, Indian companies invested over Rs. 3,000 crore into R&D viz 5 percent of the industry’s turnover4. However, industry needs to invest more in innovation. 


Innovation should also be done in collaboration with the farmer. Products are ultimately being 

developed to benefit the farmer and so what they are lacking and what they need to boost the productivity of their farmlands is ultimately what should drive innovation. 


To sum up, even as we shape the direction of the agrochemical industry, innovation will turn out to be one of the critical drivers of its transformation; there’s no denying that innovation has been unleashed and it has the potential to pave the way to a future of plenty, of prosperity and of food security.  

1 How India is championing the global agrochemical industry 

2 Why Is India’s Agrochemical Market Growing So Fast?

3 Precision Farming in India

4 Indian Agrochemicals Corporates increase their spend on Research and Development  


More from AgroNewsChange

Hot Topic More

I wanna post a press Comment


Subscribe Email: *
Mobile Number:  





Subscribe India Special Biweekly to send news related to your mailbox