Keep origin of bio-products in mind while issuing guidelines: Industry associations

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Published: May 15, 2020 2:20 AM

As the government looks set to issue guidelines to regulate manufacture and sale of bio-stimulants, industry associations have sought that the regulatory parameters should keep in mind the origin of bio-products.

The associations felt that this will definitely hamper the business prospects as well as fate of Agro MSMEs in India.The associations felt that this will definitely hamper the business prospects as well as fate of Agro MSMEs in India.

As the government looks set to issue guidelines to regulate manufacture and sale of bio-stimulants, industry associations have sought that the regulatory parameters should keep in mind the origin of bio-products.

“The time has definitely come now to formulate a policy to regulate sale and manufacture of bio-stimulants. The prime consideration while doing so must focus on nature of these products which are mainly manufactured from natural-organic -herbal- nutrient sources. This is their differential aspect from traditional chemical fertilisers and chemical pesticides. The regulatory parameters should be carefully set keeping in mind the origin of bio-products,” Rajkumar Dhurgude, president, Agro Input Manufacturers Association said. He said that before finalisation of the draft, another meeting should be called with the stakeholders.

“It seems that the government of India guidelines on bio-stimulants may ask for stringent data requirements such as toxicological data and bio-efficacy trials at different locations etc in spite of the fact that not a single major incident has been reported till date about the adverse effect of the usage of these products on plants, animals and environment etc”, he points out.

“Surprisingly, the FCO 1985 at present do not ask for any such data requirement from the manufacturers which the associations feel that is being copied from the Pesticide Registration of the Insecticide Act 1968,” Dhurgude added.
The Indian manufacturers – mainly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in rural India – are manufacturing bio-stimulants from past more than 25 years with indigenously found natural raw materials and making use of proprietary/generic formulations, Dhurgude said.

“This is generating large scale employment in the rural India. Most of the manufacturers therefore are of the opinion that stringent data requirement, as proposed in the guideline, is beyond the scope of these products and is out of reach of small manufacturers financially too,” he said.

The associations felt that this will definitely hamper the business prospects as well as fate of Agro MSMEs in India. The multinational companies are trying to enforce these stringent regulations so that they can enter the market easily and capture the growing market by ousting the small players in bio-stimulant segment, Dhurgude opined.

Bio-stimulants are being used as growth promoters for the plants worldwide and hence, they will be regulated under the FCO 1985, he said. In India, the bio-stimulant market is estimated to be approximately Rs 10,000 crore. This is a fast-growing market and this segment is estimated to be growing 20-25% every year. By using bio-stimulants, farmers are getting enhanced yield per acre and also the quality of their produce is improving enabling them to get better rates in the open market as well as for export, he said.

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