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Government calls upon industry to invest in R&D in agrochemicals sector

July 31, 2013 09:28 AM

New Delhi (Face2News Bureau)

The Government has called upon agrochemicals industry to invest in Research & Development and innovations in agrochemicals sector. Delivering the inaugural address at a two-day Third National Conference here today, the Secretary, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Indrajit Pal said that in order to remain globally competitive, the industry needs to innovate in products, for which innovative state-of-the-art R&D laboratories and financial resources would be required. Shri Indrajit Pal said that the Indian chemical sector spends 1-2% of their total turnover on R&D as compared to around 5-10% by the chemical industry in the developed countries. One of the emerging areas for R & D is green agrochemicals and the Indian industry is the development of eco-friendly green agrochemicals, he added. The Secretary informed that for ensuring quality of agrochemicals, the Government has set up 71 pesticides testing laboratories across the country that include 68 state laboratories, 2 regional laboratories and 1 central laboratory. Manufacturing units should adopt GMP (good manufacturing practices) and take all such measures that are necessary to ensure delivery of quality products to the farmers. Shri Indrajit Pal also informed that the Institute of Agrochemicals Formulation Technology (IPFT), an autonomous body of the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, has been developing state-of-the-art user and environment friendly formulations for the agrochemicals industry. During the last 5-6 years, IPFT has developed many formulations and transferred them to the industries. He urged the industry to take full advantage of the facilities offered by the institute. The Conference has been organised jointly by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Departments of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Department of Fertilizers and the Department of Agriculture & cooperation, Government of India. Tata Strategic Management Services (TSMG) are Knowledge and Strategy Partners and a Knowledge Paper on the sector was also released. With nearly a 1.2 billion population, India requires a robust, modernized agriculture sector to ensure the food security for its population. Scope for further increasing cultivable land is limited. In order to meet the food grain requirements of the country, the agricultural productivity and its growth needs to be sustained and further improved. Pesticides or Agrochemicals are recognized as an essential input for increasing agricultural production and preventing crop loss before and after harvesting. Their judicious usage is very important for the sustained growth of Indian agriculture and economy. India has low crop productivity as compared to other countries. Average productivity in India stands at 2 MT/ha as compared to 6 MT/ha in USA and world average of 3 MT/ha. At the same time, India’s pesticide consumption is also low at 0.60 kg/ha as compared to the world average of 3 kg/ha and for Japan 10.80 kgm. Hence, increased usage of pesticides could help the farmers to improve crop productivity. This also portrays the huge growth potential as the Indian economy moves forward. The two-day conference will cover topics of relevance to the sector, incl. new developments, innovations, export potential as also issues such as spurious pesticides, regulatory regime etc. A large number of Captains of the chemical industry, academia, policy makers as also the end-users viz: the farmers were present. 

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