Draft Order sends a wrong message to the Global Generic Pesticide Market

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11 July 2020, New Delhi: The Pesticide industry vehemently opposed the draft order of banning 27 pesticides in a web conference organised by Krishak Jagat, National Agriculture Newspaper and PMFAI the apex organisation of Pesticides manufacturers & formulators of the country. The webinar was organised to appraise the government and the Industry perspective on the recent draft order of banning 27 pesticides. The Ministry of Agriculture on 14th May released a draft order stating to ban 27 pesticides which are considered harmful for Animals and Humans.

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The Agrochemical industry has shared their concerns and propositions with the government and are looking forward for a positive outcome. The industry has also submitted essential data required by the Ministry of Agriculture and is even prepared for taking up joint study/research on the pesticides in question, if need arises.

Mr. Nimish Gangrade, Director, Krishak Jagat, presented the background of the burning issue engulfing the domestic agrochemicals industry. The web conference was joined by delegates across the country that included senior executives of Agrochemicals companies, Government Agriculture Departments of various states, manufacturers and formulators.

Dr. Ajit Kumar, Principal Technical Advisor, UPL Ltd. asserted that molecule like Mancozeb (Fungicide) is very important for domestic agrochemicals industry. It is inconceivable to cultivate crops like Potato and Grapes without the use of Mancozeb. The proposed ban on the key product Mancozeb itself will kill 18 other final products in the market which have Mancozeb. The government needs to consider the reliance of farming fraternity, and utility of  these 27 pesticides. They  are the most widely used pesticides and majority products have no substitutes till date. All these listed pesticides have been used by the Indian farmers for last 40 years, he added.

Dr. C. D Mayee, President of the South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), New Delhi said that this draft order has come as a shock. Neither the industry is pleased,  nor the farmers are happy; only a few environmentalists have been pacified by the draft order. It seems, this draft was made with no detailed study or preparation. The banning of these pesticides will adversely affect the domestic and export market as well. The gap thus created in the market will be filled by illegal / spurious material, Dr Mayee apprehended. There is no study on alternatives of these 27 pesticides which supports the draft order. Dr. Mayee further suggested that a high power technical committee should be formed for reconsideration over the issue and the order should be reworked.

Surprisingly, the pesticides listed are currently being recommended by the government research institutes and state departments for the ongoing Locust attack in Punjab, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Prohibition of these products  will leave all major crops exposed to pests and diseases, with no economically viable crop protection alternatives available.  

Mr. Pradip Dave, President, PMFAI (Pesticide manufacturers & Formulators Association of India) stated that the Gazette Notification Banning 27 Generic Pesticides has sent wrong signal to Global Generic Pesticides Markets. This has started to damage the Indian Agrochemical manufacturers’ exports business and likely to cause losses of valuable foreign exchange for the nation. 

The banned is likely to affect 30% of Domestic Market and 50% Exports from India. A total of about 130 products will be put off from the market. The prices of these 27 pesticides is economical in between Rs. 250-450 per Ltr/Kg where as the replacement molecules might cost upto Rs. 1100-2000 per Ltr/kg.

Highlighting the impact of the proposed ban on the domestic and export industry, Mr. Rajesh Agarwal, Managing Director, Insecticides (India) Ltd. mentioned that the generic molecules are prospering not only in India but globally. Challenging these 27 molecules, we are challenging 27 mode of actions, instantly. Being indigenously produced these molecules are available at economical prices to the Indian farmers.

Photo credit: USAID Digital Development on VisualHunt / CC BY

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