The Indian agrochemical industry plays a significant role in the growth of the economy. The industry was expected to be at $4.4 billion in 2015 and will reach $6.3 billion by the end of 2020. It is growing at the rate of 7.5 percent annually and the exports are growing at the rate of 9%. The domestic demand in the country is growing at 6.5 percent per annum.
It is estimated at there will be food grain requirement of 355 million metric tonne per annum by the end of 3030. The current requirement is 253 million metric tonne per annum. The need of the hour is the efficient usage of crop protection products for agriculture industry. Indian agrochemicals industry can reach its potential if the government and regulatory bodies work in unison and improve the farmer connec. Insecticides dominate the industry with 60% of the total demand, followed by herbicides and fungicides that contribute 16% and 18% respectively. It is important for the country to look at crop enhancement solutions so as to overcome the challenges that are faced by the Indian agriculture sector. It is also suggested that the global practices and the latest technology should be adopted to enhance production. These include seed treatment, fertigation and biotechnology development.
India is the thirteenth largest exporter of pesticides. This demand is driven by the low cost of production, seasonal domestic demand, the availability of trained resources and better price realization globally. It is expected that agrochemicals worth USD 4.1 billion will be going off patent by 2020 and this means a huge opportunity for Indian companies that hold an expertise in the production of generic products.
The shortage of labour and the rising prices of labor costs have led to the increase in the use of herbicides with a 15 percent increase per year. This growth is expected to continue for the next five years. The labor shortage has an advantage in the industry. It has led to the introduction of slow release type of formulations which avoid multiple sprays. Farmers are heavily investing into seed treatment agrochemicals which help ensure disease resistance.
The sector is facing various challenges like a decrease in the farm size, an increase in pest attacks, the reduction in arable land and low per hectare yield. All of these factors lead to the demand outpacing the supply in the food chain of the country. Only agrochemicals can help overcome the imbalance. Another huge challenge is the low awareness of the farmers and the increasing sales of non genuine products in the market. Almost 25% of the products sold in the market are non genuine. Most end users are spread across a vast geography and managing the distribution of their products through the distribution network is a major challenge. If the industry, regulatory bodies and government collaborate, they will be able to realize the potential of the industry.
There was a slowdown in the agriculture industry due to weak monsoon and a fall in global demand. However, this year looks promising and the industry could see improved conditions. The Indian industry is backed by government policies and reforms like goods and services tax. Properly designed initiatives can help the industry become a global manufacturing hub of the crop protection chemicals. India has the capacity to meet the domestic as well as global demands if the regulatory bodies work in unison with the farmers. Various crop protection solutions are currently being developed based on the latest research and global practices that use the latest tools.