T he Indian pesticides market was worth INR 181 Billion in 2017. The market is further projected to reach INR 292.9 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 8.3% during 2018-2023.
Pesticides are substances or a mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. Pesticides represent the last input in an agricultural operation and are applied for preventing the spoilage of crops from pests such as insects, fungi, weeds, etc., thereby increasing the agricultural productivity.
The significance of pesticides has been rising over the last few decades catalyzed by the requirement to enhance the overall agricultural production and the need to safeguard adequate food availability for the continuously growing population in the country. In India, pests and diseases, on an average eat away around 20-25% of the total food produced.
Indian Pesticide Market: Drivers
- The total available arable land per capita has been reducing in recent years as a result of increasing urbanization levels and is expected to reduce further in the coming years. Driven by rising population levels, food demand is expected to continue increasing in the coming years. We expect pesticides to play a key role in increasing the average crop yields per hectare.
- Government initiatives to provide credit facilities to farmers in the rural areas is expected to provide a strong boost to the pesticides industry. Increasing availability and low interest rates of farm loans are expected to encourage farmers to use more pesticides in order to improve crop yields.
- Both government and private initiatives are increasing the awareness of pesticides among farmers. Initiatives to educate farmers on the right usage of pesticides in terms of quantity, the right application methodology and appropriate chemicals to be used for identified pest problems, etc. are currently being conducted in various parts of the country.
- The penetration levels of pesticides in India are significantly lower than other major countries such as the US and China. This suggests that the market for pesticides is still largely unpenetrated with a huge room for future growth.
Insecticides (India) Ltd. (IIL), a BSE & NSE Listed company is India’s leading and one of the top 10 Indian agrochemicals manufacturing company. IIL has emerged as a front-line performer in India’s crop care market with a top line of Rs 1109.63 crore in 2017-2018.
The company is growing at a robust pace this year. The company owns the prestigious Tractor brand which is highly popular among the farmers. This umbrella brand of its agro products signifies the company’s deep connection with the farming community. Company has a product range of more than 100 products and the largest selling brands of IIL include Lethal, Victor, Thimet, Nuvan, Monocil, Xplode, Mycoraja, Pulsor and Hakama. The company launched a new herbicide, Green Label which is being manufactured in India for the first time for the benefit of Indian farmers in 2016. The company has a technical and marketing MoU with American Vanguard Corporation (AMVAC), USA, to manufacture and market “Thimet” & “Nuvan”, leading international agrochemical brands. IIL also has a proud tie-up with the Japanese company, Nissan Chemicals and are marketing their two products Pulsor & Hakama in India. In 2016, the company has tied-up with Momentive, USA and launched AgroSpred* Max in India, which is a silicone based super spreader that will help farmers to increases the efficacy of agrochemicals
EMAIL based Q & A session with Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal , Managing Director of Insecticides ( India ) Ltd on Past , Present and Future of the Agrochemical Industry in India …
Q 1. What do you think is the most significant change to affect the Indian agrochemical industry in last 2 years?
A: Agrochemicals is a growing industry that will gain more traction in the coming days for sure. Awareness among farmers on the use of agrochemicals is increasing so now we have more farmers who are ready to use agrochemical products than say 5-7 years back. The new generation agrochemical products help farmers to reduce the cost of inputs and increase their productivity. During last 5 years, many technological advances in the field of Agro chemicals have been made, due to which the efficacy of agrochemicals as well as the safety of using agrochemicals have increased manifold.
Q 2. What strategic initiatives have and will be taken by your company under these changes?
A: Insecticides (India) Limited currently owns nearly 4-5 percent of the domestic agro chemicals market. The company is working hard along with the farmers on two major aspects. Firstly, we are working on bringing the latest technology to the farmers through advanced research and collaborations with international companies. We are also working with the farmers to impart training to them so that they can develop the requisite knowhow of agrichemicals and use it judiciously in their fields and get the maximum benefit.
Q 3. What is your vision for the growth of the Indian agrochemical industry over the next three fiscal years?
A: The agrochemical industry is growing at a steady pace and during the last 5 years. In India, it is set to grow at a 12 per cent CAGRover FY16-FY19E. With rapidly reducing land for agriculture and the increasing pressure of productivity of the farming land, we look forward to a good future for the agrochemicals.
Q 4. Rural Markets are being flooded with fake products specifically when it comes organic pesticides. How do you cater to such fake factor as on Policy?
A: Educating the farmers on the products and their use is the only effective method to counter the growth of fake products. The cost of fake products can be less than the original but the efficacy of an original can never be emulated by a fake product. Our farmer education camps are crucial in making the users aware of the presence of fake products in the market and the differences between the genuine and fake pesticides.
Q 5. What are your expectations from the upcoming Budget 2019? Any policy changes you are looking forward in case a new government comes?
A: We are hoping that the new government will address the basic issues of agriculture instead of implementing policies that bring superficial changes. The farmers in India are the most suffering lot but then a one-size-fits-all solution is not something that they need. The economic difference between the various kinds of farmers in India requires policymakers to identify specific problems and create effective policy measure to address that issue.
We welcome the government’s decision to look beyond the policy of loan waiver to address their financial concerns which forced many to commit suicide. Loan waivers are at best short-term measures with limited impact on the sector. If the government wants to work towards pushing the farmers’ income to double by 2022, it needs to bring robust policies that reduce interventions by intermediaries and allows adequate access to market with no manufactured demand-supply equation, some of which they have already started like soil health Card, crop insurance, Ehaats etc.
Q 6. Due to agriculture industry in dump, has it affected pesticide agrochemical industry? If so, how?
A: The success and growth of agrochemical industry is dependent on the success of the farming community. Hence, anything that affects the farmers will influence the industry as well. A slump in farmer’s income will force him to minimise the input cost, including crop-protection products. Our core value is to increase the income and wealth of the farmers and to provide the solution through technology. We strive hard to provide the best solutions to the farmers within their reach.
Q 7. Do Farmers prefer now more organic or chemical pesticide? Please tell about some of your products and which all states you are operating.
A: IIL believes in providing complete solution to the farmers and we believe that an optimum mix of chemical and biological products is key to enable farmers get a good yield in their fields. We are currently marketing our products in all states across India. We are expecting a renewed growth in sales in the coming year with new latest products addition
About Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal – Managing Director of Insecticides ( India ) Limited
Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal is the Managing Director of Insecticides (India) Limited since 2006. Under this dynamic leadership, IIL is now become one of the top ten players in the agro chemicals manufacturing industry.
Mr. Rajesh is also the Vice Chairman of Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI), which is the association of the Indian crop care manufacturers. He also serves as a member of the Managing Committee of Pesticides Manufacturers & Formulators Association of India (PMFAI).