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Nichem Solutions Launches Repellant to Tackle Pink Bollworm in Cotton

Nichem is focusing on Cropsil, repellants, and Plantsil products, with six verticals ranging from water purification to polymer additives to consumer products. According to the company's CEO, the company provides non-toxic and unconventional pre-harvest biocides and fungicides, as well as post-harvest preservation.

Shivam Dwivedi
Rajan Raje, Chief Executive Officer, Nichem Solutions
Rajan Raje, Chief Executive Officer, Nichem Solutions

Nichem Solutions, a Thane-based specialty chemical firm, has launched a repellant to combat the pink bollworm in cotton, a problem that has become a major headache for growers, according to its Chief Executive Officer Rajan Raje. "Because the repellant is bitter-tasting, the bollworm leaves the plant." The bollworms cannot survive on the bitter leaves caused by repellant spraying. "This promotes the growth of the plant," he explained.

This year, the company sold 100 kilolitres of repellant, with positive results. "We anticipate a significant improvement next year." "The repellant was primarily sold in Maharashtra's Vidharba region," said Nichem Solutions CEO.

The repellent is distributed by a distributor with a network in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. "We don't have the infrastructure to market the repellant in Haryana and Punjab," he said when asked if the product had been tested in the northern states where pink bollworm was found this year.

The repellant for pink bollworm in cotton is part of Nichem Solutions' perfume- and taste-based offerings to keep harmful insects and pests away from plants, primarily horticulture crops, according to Raje. "Once these products are sprayed on plants, they remain there and keep pests and insects at bay." This drastically reduces the need for insecticides or pesticides on plants," said Nichem (derived from niche chemicals) Solutions CEO.

Nichem is focusing on Cropsil, repellants, and Plantsil products, with six verticals ranging from water purification to polymer additives to consumer products. According to the company's CEO, the company provides non-toxic and unconventional pre-harvest biocides and fungicides, as well as post-harvest preservation.

"We use hydrogen peroxide and silver in our fungicides." They are extremely powerful oxidizing agents that dissolve into water and oxygen. The low concentration of silver left behind acts as a plant protector. "Our products leave no harmful residues on plants," Raje explained.

Under the Gomite brand, the company also sells non-toxic insecticides and pesticides. "Then there are nutritional products that help plants overcome water and heat stress. They also boost the plant's immunity. "The product is ortho-silicic acid (OSA) based," he explained.

Natural ingredients are used in many of the company's products. "Many are eco-certified or organically certified." Keeping that in mind, we make certain that there is no toxicity in any form, whether on soil or in water," he said.

Plantsil, a combination of OSA and seaweed, is available from Nichem, as is Cropsil, which boosts plant immunity and yield. "As the plant's immunity improves, it automatically produces a higher yield." "We've seen productivity increase by 10% to 100%," said Nichem Solutions' CEO.

Cropsil is a generic product that is used in horticulture, floriculture, or regular plants. The use of OSA improves nutrient and fertilizer uptake, making them more resistant to stress. This also reduces the need for pesticides and insecticides," Raje explained.

Nichem aids in the control of ethylene release in fruits, vegetables, and flowers during post-harvest preservation. "The preservation will slow the release of ethylene, increasing the shelf, storage, or transit life of an agricultural produce." "Our products have demonstrated a two-fold increase in fruit shelf or transit life even at room temperature," he said.

Packaging material, such as plastic bags and coatings, can be used to improve shelf and transit life. "We have developed coatings for corrugated boxes as well as three or four different technologies to control the release of ethylene from plants," Raje explained.

"Our products and technologies are priced based on what the user can afford," said Nichem Solutions CEO. The end user in this case will be a farmer, trader, or exporter. We are well aware that any pricing that is 5-10% higher is unsustainable. "All of our technologies typically ensure that the prices are affordable to the average person," he said.

Nichem Solutions, founded in 2014, is growing at a 30% annual rate, with all of its products developed in-house under the supervision of Prof VC Malshe, a polymer scientist and paint technologist.

The company holds three to four international patents, primarily for its OSA technology in Cropsil, as well as Plantsil and other variant products. Apart from India, Nichem has obtained patents for these in Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands. "It is registered in nearly 30 US states and is being registered in South Africa." These technologies have been accepted and approved, according to Raje.

Cropsil is exported by Nichem Solutions to Canada, the United States, Kenya, the Netherlands, and South Africa. "We're doing extremely well in Canada and the United States," he said. In the future, Raje believes Nichem sees a positive trend in the new generation of farmers.

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