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Role of Indian Crops Protection Industry for sustainable growth of agriculture

NEW DELHI: With increasing demand for crop protection and enhancement, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry( FICCI) and TATA Strategic Management Group (TSMG) have jointly brought out a report “Next Generation Indian Agriculture: Role of Crop Protection Solutions” highlighting the need for sustainable growth of agriculture in India.

The report was released by Hukmdev Narayan Yadav, Chairman, Standing Committee of Parliament on Agriculture in an event at FICCI on Tuesday 19 July 2016.

It is noted that about 15-25% potential crop production is lost due to pests, weeds and diseases. Indian agriculture is still grappling with

hallenges like high monsoon dependency, unpredictable weather patterns, reduction in arable land, low per hectare yield, increase in pest attacks, etc.

There are good emerging trends and solutions for sustainable crop protection which include crop protection chemicals, agronomy, fertigation, seed treatment, bio-technology development etc.

India is the fourth largest global producer of agrochemicals after the US, Japan and China. This segment generated a value of USD 4.4 billion in FY15 and is expected to grow at 7.5% per annum to reach USD 6.3 billion by FY20. Approximately 50% of the demand comes from domestic consumers and the rest from exports. During the same period, the domestic demand is expected to grow at 6.5% per annum.

At present, per hectare consumption of pesticides in India is amongst the lowest in the world and stands at 0.6 kg/ha against 5-7 kg/ha in the UK and 13 kg/ha in China. With the increase in awareness and market penetration, consumption is likely to improve in the near future.

In addition to the use of crop protection chemicals, Indian agriculture needs to focus on specific solutions to enhance crop productivity. It is imperative for us to adopt efficient agronomy practices, fertigation, seed treatment, biotechnology and plasticulture to reduce wastage and attain self-sufficiency in agricultural output. Integrated pest management is one of the most effective and sustainable ways of tackling the issue of pests and diseases in Indian agriculture.

Digital technology based solutions could be one of the efficient routes to reach the farmers and equip them with information in real time which will help in arriving to better and timely farming related decisions.