Croplife India, an association of 15 R&D driven crop science companies has expressed concern at the draft gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India to ban 27 pesticides in the country.
“banning of pesticides at a critical time of ensuring food security for the country and significantly leveraging the transformational agricultural reforms announced recently by the government to improve farmer profitability and export competitiveness; this draft proposal to ban 27 molecules is a major setback.” said Asitava Sen, Chief Executive Officer, CropLife India
While these products were duly registered in the country after scientific evaluation for their safety and efficacy by CIB & RC and they were further supported with more scientific data, as and when required by the regulatory body. They continue to be used for mitigation/control of pests & diseases of wide range of crops in India and in several other countries. Farmer woes will increase during the approaching Kharif season and at a time when Locust attack is looming over the border areas of Punjab and Rajasthan.
Asitava Sen, Chief Executive Officer, CropLife India; said, “CropLife India, as a leading industry association of crop science companies, will submit our refutation to the concerned Ministry on the draft order. The order has certain factual errors, inconsistencies and incomplete claims; as per the data submitted by our member companies and other original registrants for some of these molecules. We emphasize that the process of review should be science-based and consultative. We also urge that the Draft Order should not be erroneously misinterpreted or misused by State and District level administrators; to disrupt the supplies of these products till the issuance of the Final Order, at a time when the supply chain is already struggling with extraneous factors such COVID-19.”
As per a third party study, the proposed molecules together constitute about 18-20% of the Indian market. COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge disruptions in the agricultural supply chain, coupled with labour shortage and in the absence of properly planned alternatives, crop yield, food security and farmers’ livelihood in the country will be adversely impacted with this ban.
Mr. Sen added, “Due to the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19, many countries want to shift their production bases and trade from China under ‘Asianization’ of Supply Chain’. This can present a remarkable opportunity for India. However, to capitalize on the situation, we need to present a positive and stable investment climate, coupled with non-alienated regulatory framework. Sudden ban of 27 molecules generate negative sentiments for investments. India is one of the largest producers and exporters for some of molecules listed in the draft order; and a ban will also lead to adverse impact on global supply chain and go against the principles of promoting ‘Make in India’.”
“We hope the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare will take a holistic view and not pursue the draft ban order at this challenging time, keeping in mind the best interest and welfare of Indian agriculture and farmers”- said Sen.
About CropLife India:
CropLife India is committed to advancing sustainable agriculture and it is an association of 15 R&D driven member companies in crop protection. We jointly represent ~ 70% of the market and are responsible for 95% of the molecules introduced in the country. Our member companies have annual global R & D spend of 6 billion USD and are firmly committed to engaging with the farming community to enable Safe, Secure Food Supply.