Shift from selling pesticides to pest control, says NITI Aayog Ramesh Chand

India’s pesticide industry, which has become the world’s second largest exporter after China, has been urged to be vigilant as many Western countries switch from agrochemicals to biopesticides and even domestically, the official focus has shifted to soil conservation through natural farming. However, it has the potential to increase its growth from the current  9 percent. 

 Speaking at an event organized by the Agro Chem Federation of India (ACFI), NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand said, “I have seen this (staying away from chemical pesticides) in many countries. The Netherlands hardly sells any agrochemicals. The whole West is on the move in that direction”. I believe that in the long run, this (Indian agrochemical) industry must pay attention to this aspect. Perhaps the industry needs to transition from selling pesticides to pest control and  offer solutions such as integrated pest management. 

 He urged the industry to think about why many Western countries are switching from agrochemicals to biopesticides. Chand advised Indian companies to do business responsibly on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) issues, which are now being talked about a lot. 

Chand said India’s agricultural GDP grew at an average of four percent over the past decade, outstripping China’s 3-7-3.8 percent. He added that the agrochemical industry should focus on innovation to minimize pollution and also publish a compliance document. Highlighting the  impressive growth of the agrochemical industry during 2017-2023, the NITI Aayog member said that much of this growth occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic years when  production activities were severely disrupted. Chand further said that if India can achieve growth of nine percent without the favorable factor of China, the competition from China will not be as severe as before. “Since Chinese competition is unlikely to remain at the same level, the agrochemical industry can grow much faster, at least within the limits of possibilities”.

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