• Organic farming cannot succeed in isolation, especially in a country of India’s size and population, with tremendous pressure on increasing productivity of crops to feed the teeming millions. It can only be sustained with judicious use of new generation agrochemicals, which require less dosage, ensure greater productivity and are more environmental friendly. Expressing these views, Rajesh Aggarwal, Managing Director of India’s leading agrochemicals company Insecticides India Ltd. (IIL), while announcing the launch of three new products - Encounter, Sophia and Aikido – in the Punjab market at a media conference in Chandigarh on Thursday, said while practising organic farming it would be foolhardy to assume that all diseases which will afflict the crops can be fought without the use of agrochemicals.

Comparing the consumption of agrochemicals in India with some of the advanced countries, Aggarwal asserted that it is a myth that India was among the highest consumers of these chemicals in the world. “The sale of agrochemicals in India is worth a mere 3 billion dollars compared to the worldwide figure of 66 billion dollars. The reason is Indian farmers are slow on the uptake of modern technologies, and the results can be seen in very low levels of productivity as compared to counties like USA and Brazil, where the consumption pattern of agrochemicals is much higher,” he informed.

Photo By : Life In Chandigarh

“At IIL, it is our continuous endeavour to develop the latest crop protection products for the benefit of farmers which are economically within their reach. All three new products, developed either in our in-house R&D centres or in technical collaboration with Nihon Nohyaku, Japan, are based on the latest technology and safe formulations and will find wide applicability,” Aggarwal claimed.

IIL is also working big time with farmers in Punjab to educate them not only about the right dosages of pesticides and fungicides and spraying techniques to be used, but also advising them on use of seeds and fertilisers to achieve best results and to cut down on wastages. Sharing details regarding this farmers’ outreach programme of the company, General Manager Sanjay Vats said last year the company through a strong network of its agri experts spread across the state could reach out to 20,000 farmers by organising 60 mega farmers’ meets, 350 spot meetings and 600 ‘nukkad’ meetings.

Asked about the size of the agrochemicals market in Punjab, Aggarwal said “In quantity terms, the use of agrochemicals is not increasing because advanced technologies require lesser dosage. But, in value terms, it is increasing and it stands at an estimated Rs. 1700-1800 crore. The overall Indian market for agrochemicals is of the order of Rs. 17,000-18,000 crore, he added.

Sharing financials of the company, Aggarwal claimed that in 2017-18 its top line stood at Rs. 1109.23 crore. “Last 3-4 years have been difficult years and we could manage only a single digit growth. But, we are hopeful of clocking 15 percent continuous growth from this year.  Last year, IIL’s exports were of the order of Rs. 35 crore, which we have targeted to double this year.”