Indian agro-chemical industry can grow over 9 per cent notwithstanding Chinese competition: Niti Aayog

India’s agro-chemical industry has the potential to grow more than the current nine per cent notwithstanding the competition from China, government think tank Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand said on Wednesday. Chand also observed that many Western countries are shifting from agrochemicals to biopesticides and the Indian industry needs to pay attention to this aspect.

He urged the Agro Chem Federation of India (ACFI) to come out with a document on ease of doing business in agrochemicals.

The Niti Aayog member was addressing a panel discussion on the occasion of the sixth annual general meeting of ACFI in the national capital.

“The agrochemical industry has achieved a miracle growth of nine per cent… much of this growth rate has happened during the Covid-19 pandemic years when the production activities were seriously disrupted,” he said.

Despite economic and production disruptions, the domestic agrochemical industry had shown an impressive growth between 2017-18 and 2022-23, he added.

That apart, India’s exports have crossed USD 5 billion and even surpassed China according to different data sources, Chand said. The Niti Aayog member further stated, if India can achieve a nine per cent growth rate in the absence of favourable China factor, the China competition is not as hard it was in the past. “We can easily raise this growth rate from nine per cent to anything in the realm of reality,” he said.

On biopesticides, Chand said the industry needs to ponder why many Western countries are shifting from agrochemicals to biopesticides.

“I have seen it in many countries. The Netherlands hardly sells any agro-chemicals. The entire West is going in that direction. I think in the long run this (Indian) industry is required to pay attention to this aspect,” he said.

To boost exports, Chand said Indian companies need to conduct business responsibly complying with issues related to ESG (environment, social, and governance) which is much talked about now.

The agrochemical industry needs to focus on innovation to minimize pollution and also come out with a document on ease of doing business with compliances, he said.

PI Industries Managing Director Mayank Singhal, FMC India President Ravi Annavaraup, Bayer CropScience Head of Alternate Business Models Ajeet Singh, and Syngenta Chief Sustainability Officer K C Ravi were present in the panel discussion.


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