Chemical major BASF has set up a a research and development centre for agrochemicals at Lonikand, Pune, its first in the country, at an estimated investment of Rs 64 crore. The centre will focus on global agriculture research on herbicides, fungicides and insecticides and will also offer to tailor-made solutions to the farmers.
"Our role is to partner with farmers and to work with them to protect the land they hold in trust for future generations and to meet the evolving expectations of society. The team in India will contribute to these goals by driving the development of new active ingredients, new formulations, and technologies," said Markus Heldt, president of BASF's crop protection division.
In addition to conducting research in areas of global agricultural interest, the R&D centre will also investigate scenarios that are unique to India.These include challenges such as India's specific weeds and pests, as well as climate stresses, like drought, flood cycles,and heat stress. This is BASF's fifth R&D centre in the world after Germany, Spain, Brazil and Philippines.
According to Heldt, the estimated India market for crop protection products is of $1.5 billion. "The centre will investigate scenarios that are unique to India. These include challenges such as India's specific weeds and pests, as well as climate stresses, like drought, flood cycles and heat stress. The centre aims to help farmers make better decisions and improve productivity during the entire cultivation cycle, " said Raman Ramachandran, Chairman and Managing Director, BASF India and Head of BASF South Asia.
According Ramachandran, Pune has been chosen as the site for the research center because of its ideal location in the southern Indian climate zone, three cropping seasons, soil trials and the close proximity to local universities and research institutions.