Global agri major seeks faster regulatory clearances

Written by Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 14 2013, 08:33am hrs
Delays in regulatory clearances are slowing down technology transfer to Indias agricultural sector, a top official with global agri major Syngenta said on Tuesday.

With an annual turnover of more than $ 14 billion, Switzerland-based Syngenta, which has a significant presence in the countrys hybrid seeds market, has been facing delays in regulatory clearances for chemical mixtures that improve crop protection.

Most technologies for crop protection and improvement are readily available globally. Yet, because of the slow pace of regulatory approval, the introduction of new technology and solutions has been delayed in India, Davor Pisk, COO, Syngenta, told FE.

The company had filed an application with the agriculture ministry for introducing insecticides ampligo, difenoconazole and propiconazola a few years back. We are yet to get clearance for such chemical mixtures due to lack of technical manpower in the agriculture ministry, Pisk said.

He said that governments policymakers must address the concern of regulatory constraints urgently so that farmers benefit from global technology.

Pisk said it takes more than two years of field-testing before a agri-chemical is approved for commercial use. No other regulatory system has such a time-consuming process. It even slows down introduction of chemicals with small variations, Pisk noted.

Syngenta is a major player in Indias hybrids business as it supplies seeds of corn, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, okra and sweet corn. In 2011-12, the company reported a turnover of R357 crore on its seeds business. Its total India turnover was R2,539 crore.