29 September 2021, New Delhi: Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) conducted its 58th Annual General Meet (AGM) at New Delhi yesterday. The newly elected leadership of CCFI, Chairman of the Agrochemical Industry body, Mr. Deepak Shah, Chairman and Managing Director, Sulphur Mills along with Vice-Chairman, Mr. Rajesh Agarwal, Managing Director, Insecticides India Ltd., hosted a deliberation with Chief guests Dr. S. K. Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner, Government of India, Mr. Krishan Bir Chaudhary, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj and Dr. Ashwani Mahajan, National Co-Convener of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Dr. S.C. Dubey, ADG Plant Protection, ICAR and members of CCFI.
The discussion highlighted the various aspects of policy change required to promote Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat in the agrochemical sector with the help of Indian manufacturers and their existing facilities and manufacturing capabilities.
Mr. Deepak Shah, highlighted that CCFI members contribute almost 90% to the total agrochemical exports from India out of 30,000 Cr. These manufacturers/companies are exporting to more than 130 countries including the US, Europe, Brazil, even to China. Our aim is to increase the exports to 60,000 Cr. in the next 3-4 years. This will only be possible when favourable policy changes are brought in for the Indian agrochemical manufacturing.
Mr. Rajesh Agarwal highlighted the need to bring in Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) in the sector to promote Agrochemical manufacturing in India. This will also help to bring in fresh investments in the sector. The members of CCFI are focussed on improving their R&D capabilities, conducting market development activities and farmer trainings in rural India. Mr. Agarwal stressed on the strong capability of the CCFI members in making India a global supplier if desired support in terms of favourable policy is provided for domestic agrochemical manufacturing.
Mr. Deepak Shah during the deliberation mentioned, “One of the reason for unutilised capacity of Indian manufacturers is the policy where technical registration is not a mandate before registering a formulation / importing a formulation in India. India is an exception among 43 agriculture centric countries where Technical needs to be registered before registering a formulation / importing a formulation in the country.”
Dr. S.K. Malhotra praised CCFI in playing a greater role and putting in efforts to make available the best products for the farming community of India. Even during the pandemic, the manufacturers made sure that there is uninterrupted supply of key agrochemicals for the farmers. With all these joint efforts, India has made a record food grain production of 306 million tonnes and 329 million tonnes of Horticulture crops in the year 2020-21.
He mentioned, “The Industry body has been in discussion with the government at various forums and has been highlighting their roadblocks. The government has been trying to bring in ease of doing business at various levels, a few important decisions have been taken in favour of the sector, a few which have a bigger impact across various sectors involves a wider discussion and the government is on it.”
Dr. Ashwini Mahajan, National Co-Convener of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, stressed on their work plan with the government and corrections required in the process of technical registration for MNCs and Indian Manufacturers. He mentioned, “Our policy should focus on Make in India and Made by Indians”. The policy on data protection does not align in the interest of the the industry and has not been included in the plan.
Mr. Krishan Bir Chaudhary, mentioned the drastic increase in the imports of agrochemicals in the last two years from 9,000 cr. to 12,410 cr. is an alarming situation. This goes against the Prime Minister Modi’s message of Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat. The quality and cost effectiveness of Indian Agrochemicals is becoming a huge forte for the Indian Manufacturers at a global level at the same time the policies in India are limiting their manufacturing capabilities.
The launch of film “The Unsung Champion” cited various examples of cost effectiveness of molecules when produced by Indian manufacturers like Cypermethrin, Emamectin benzoate, Sulfosulfuron, Acetamiprid, etc., where the cost has come down by more than 50% compared to price when imported. A citation was read by Mr. Harish Mehta to confer title of Chairman Emeritus on Mr Rajju Shroff which was unanimously endorsed by all the directors present.
CCFI under the administrative leadership of Ms. Nirmala Pathrawal, Executive Director, Mr. Harish Mehta, Senior Advisor, and Dr. J C Majumdar have been working on safety of the farming community. CCFI has been organising training and distribution of free agrochemical safety kits for the farming community. In the last 2-3 years, about 70,000 safety kits have been distributed at 65 strategic locations across India by CCFI to promote safe and judicious of agrochemicals.