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India's Agrochemical Industry to Grow Over 9%: Professor Ramesh Chand, Niti Aayog Member

“Since 2016, the growth of the agrochemical sector has jumped to 8-9% and the industry may be heading to attain a 10% growth rate, which is a miracle growth rate considering much of this growth rate has happened during the Covid-19 pandemic years when the production activities were seriously disrupted," said, Professor, Ramesh Chand.

Parvathy Pillai
Professor Chand said, India’s agrochemical industry may grow at a much higher rate than the current 8-9%  (Image Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)
Professor Chand said, India’s agrochemical industry may grow at a much higher rate than the current 8-9% (Image Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)

The Agro Chem Federation of India (ACFI) recently organized the 6th Annual General Meeting 2023 on September 06, 2023. The event also witnessed a panel discussion with distinguished panelists who emphasized on "Making India the Manufacturing and Export Hub of Agrochemicals."

One such prominent panelist, Professor, Ramesh Chand, Niti Aayog member expressed his hope that amid easing China's competition, India’s agrochemical industry may grow at a much higher rate than the current 8-9% clocked in the last 5-6 years.

Growth of the Agrochemical Sector

“Since 2016, the growth of the agrochemical sector has jumped to 8-9% and the industry may be heading to attain a 10% growth rate, which is a miracle growth rate considering much of this growth rate has happened during the Covid-19 pandemic years when the production activities were seriously disrupted. As the competition from China is unlikely to remain at the level witnessed in the past, the agrochemical industry may grow at a much higher pace, at any rate in the realm of possibility,” said, Professor Chand.

Highlighting the role of the agriculture sector in the overall growth of the agrochemical sector, Professor Chand pointed out that the growth of the agriculture sector over the last 10 years and in the last 5-6 years has been phenomenal.

He further added, “We were fixing the target of 4 percent agricultural growth during the Vajpayee regime, but we attained that growth in the last 10 years. In seven major states of India, the growth is more than 7% and this kind of growth in production, sector income, and farmers’ income has never happened in any period of 7 or 10 years, in the history of independent India.”

He also called upon the agrochemical industry to use the opportunity to reduce dependence on imports of raw as much as possible. As per the figure available in the public domain, India's agrochemical imports including raw materials worth Rs 14,000 crore, and exports stand at around Rs 43,000 crore.

“This kind of import is not harmful at all, but China's situation provides a good opportunity to reduce it further,” he said.

(Image Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)
(Image Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)

Professor Chand further urged ACFI to come out with a document on the ease of doing business in agrochemicals and asked the industry to ponder why many Western countries are shifting from agrochemicals to bio-pesticides. He also advised the Indian industry to conduct business responsibly complying with issues related to ESG (environment, social, and governance) and focus on innovation to minimize pollution.

Parikshit Mundhra, Chairman, ACFI also shared his insights during the panel discussion. “Our association is committed to working to increase farmers’ income by offering them high-quality Agrochemical at affordable cost and will look at the valuable suggestion made by Professor Ramesh Chand as well as other stakeholders,” he said.

At the beginning of the panel discussion, Dr Kalyan Goswami, Director General, ACFI, informed that ACFI is working towards creating a favourable ecosystem for the agrochemicals sector that would facilitate an increase in agrochemical exports, and position India as an attractive destination for foreign investments.

The following members were also present during the panel discussion:

  • Managing Director, PI Industries, Mayank Singhal

  • President, FMC India, Ravi Annavaraup

  • Head, Alternate Business Models, Bayer Crop Science, Ajeet Singh

  • Syngenta Chief Sustainability Officer, K C Ravi

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