Agriculture has been a crucial sector for India and the country has significant potential for high and sustained growth in agriculture and allied sectors, considering the huge untapped potential along the value chain.
Agrochemicals is one of the key inputs required for crop protection and better yield during both pre-and post-harvest stages. Judicious use of crop protection chemicals supports sustainable farm management and delivers socio-economic benefits to meet the challenges of feeding India’s increasing population.
The Government of India (GoI) has undertaken various reforms to improve the functioning of the agriculture sector and double farmers’ income by 2022 by emphasizing agriculture marketing, providing farmers with access to institutional credit, and freeing the sector from various restrictions by appropriately backing laws. Such reforms are expected to strengthen the rural economy and provide great support to the vision of building a new India.
I appreciate GoI’s work towards improving India’s ranking in the ease of doing business index, believing in Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and emphasizing Vocal for Local to support its flagship program, Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), which will help boost the Indian economy. The GoI has declared pesticides as a champion sector and is looking to transform India into a production hub. The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health, understanding the important role played by crop protection chemicals in achieving global food, nutrition, health, wealth, and environmental security.
FICCI-PwC report ‘The role of Agrochemicals: Achieving the vision of a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025’ http://ficci.in/publication.asp?spid=23379 identifies three major growth levers that will contribute to the growth of the agrochemicals industry, the agriculture sector, and subsequently, the economy.
The first lever stresses making improvements in trade and marketing of agrochemicals through promoting domestic consumption, exports, and consumer awareness, along with increasing technology interventions.
The second lever highlights the need for focusing on increasing India’s agrochemical production and improving the product offerings through Research and Development (R&D) in order to transform it into a global agrochemical hub.
The third lever focuses on creating a favorable policy environment for the agrochemicals sector that would facilitate an increase in agrochemical exports, position India as an attractive destination for foreign investments and safeguard the interests of small and regional players operating in the industry. These three growth levers will have a synergistic effect on the industry and the performance of the agriculture sector as a whole, contributing significantly towards achieving the target of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.
The author is Chairman, FICCI- Sub Committee on Crop Protection Chemicals & Group Chairman, Dhanuka Agritech Ltd