10 August 2022, New Delhi: During the financial year 2021-22, agrochemical exports were to the tune of INR 36,521 crore as against imports of INR 13,363 crore creating a trade surplus of over INR 23,000 crore a rare feat for any industry.
Mr Rajju Shroff, Chairman Emeritus, Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) speaking on the achievement of Agrochemical Industry said, “Our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji while addressing Governing council meeting of Niti Aayog emphasised the need to increase exports with less dependence on imports. We involved in agrochemical industry and agriculture are very confident that we can increase export of agriculture inputs and simultaneously increase export of food. Today, India is second largest producer of agriculture produce in world with production of US$481 Bn for the year 2020-21.”
In fiscal year 2020-21, agrochemical imports surged by 37% and about 50% of imports were from China mainly due to import friendly regulations. Increased imports lowered domestic industries capacity utilisation and increased costs.
There are problems faced by India in exporting rice, tea or even mangoes where we are amongst the largest producer in the world. The industry is actively analysing the situation and seeking solutions to help increase our exports of food almost by 100%.
A few foreign funded environmental activists are against use of pesticides, which is the main input to reduce crop losses in farmers fields and in storage. The narrative about indiscriminate use of pesticides by Indian farmers is incorrect if we go by the data. India is using nearly 60,000 MT pesticides and produces US$481 Bn worth of agriculture produce, compared to European Union countries, using 250 lakh MT pesticides and producing less than US$200 Bn worth of agriculture produce even though EU has more land than India.
Mr Shroff further mentioned, “Today it has been proved that Indian scientists and engineers are equal to the best in the world and we are able to produce superior quality pesticides at competitive price. Though last year, we exported US$4.9 Bn worth of pesticides but the world market of generic off-patent pesticides is US$55 Bn. If unnecessary rules and regulations are streamlined and ease of doing business is done we can boost our export of pesticides to US$ 40 Bn in next 5 years.”
The Agrochemical industry is confident that they would be able to increase export of inputs like pesticides and fertilizers, besides increasing export of food.
Mr. Harish Mehta, Senior Advisor from Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) said, “Unless regulated with tariff and fiscal measures, increasing imports would undermine government’s effort towards Atmanirbhar Bharat through Make in India initiative. CCFI members are committed to make India a manufacturing hub not only to meet domestic demand but also export to over 130 countries”
The industry has recommended higher custom duty @30% on import of ready made formulations besides maintaining present slab of 18% as GST.