Regulatory mechanism to get clearances for seeds and plant protection solutions in India is not very predictable, especially when it comes to timelines, said Rajan Gajaria, executive vice-president, business platforms, Corteva Agriscience. The only country where the situation was worse off is probably Brazil, he added.
The senior executive of the American agriculture firm also said there were long queues for products awaiting clearances. Gajaria said the delays at times led to pests developing resistance before the introduction of a product to protect crops against it.
Corteva Agriscience, an independent, pure-play global agriculture company that recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange following a successful separation from DowDuPont on June 1, currently has a 15-20 per cent share in the Indian seed market and 10 per cent share in the plant-protection space, said Gajaria. The company was looking to expand its portfolio, he added.
Apart from seeds and plant protection chemicals, Corteva is also looking to introduce a digital tool for Indian farmers who have small land holding. This tool will allow them to manage their costs and budgets and also accurately map the correct value of their land.
“At present, we have these tools for our US and Brazilian customer, but this week we are having a conversation as to what could the kind of tools which we could bring for the Indian context,” said Gajaria.
The company recently, introduced a solution for fall armyworm in India after getting necessary regulatory approvals and said that problem both globally and also in India is significant and growing.
“We are posting these products not as panacea for all problems related to fall armyworm but as part of integrated pest management (IPM) practices,” said Gajaria, adding that there is no one answer to fall armyworm and it has to be part of multiple solution in controlling the pest and there can’t be any one solution.
On the growing awareness and clamor for using natural products, Gajaria said he thinks it nothing more than a fad and in the long run it is not sustainable.
“There are ways to boost productivity and output and there are ways which you can do things differently than they are today but not using any technology to farm I don’t think it is sustainable and it doesn’t solve anybody’s problems,” Gajaria said.
He said in the next 50 years, the world will have plant-protection products which will reduce their usage by 90 per cent in actual tonnes of chemicals consumed per acre by improving the efficacy of the products and also processes like targeted crop protection.