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Ushering in the 2rd green revolution: role of crop protection chemicals in India

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The report on “Ushering in the 2nd Green Revolution – Role of Crop Protection chemicals” is a part of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICC) and TATA Strategic Management Group (TSMG) Chemical Practice's endeavor to highlight the need and importance of adopting a Second Green Revolution in the country. The same covers the aspect as to how the Crop Protection chemicals sector will play a critical role in it, in order to bring further prosperity to the Indian agricultural sector. FICCI &TSMG have been regularly tracking the trends in agrochemical and associated industries.

The rising population in India accompanied by rising affluence is seeing a shift in the consumption 
patterns. There is a need to not just increase production to meet demand but also to ensure that the nutritional needs of an increasingly affluent population are met. Shrinking arable land and loss of cropsdue to pests lead to wastage posing a critical challenge to ensuring food and nutritional security. India wastes nearly 40 percent of its total production in terms of value. The agricultural workforce in India is expected to reduce to nearly 50% in 2020s, a trend which will be observed in other developing countries as well. It is further expected to be on a consistent decline due to better remuneration and growth opportunities in the alternate sectors. These growing challenges indicate that the focus should not only be on raising the agricultural production but also on enhancing the productivity. Therefore, there is an increasing pressure on agricultural sector to usher in the Second Green Revolution, thereby ensuring high output both in terms of quality and quantity as also a wider geographical spread (compared to the First Green Revolution) with the objective of ensuring the food and nutrition security of the nation.

A significant outcome of the prospective Second Green Revolution would be the focus on crop protection 
chemicals (agrochemicals); as they will become increasingly important in achieving higher yields and increasing productivity.

In combination with Pest Management and Plasticulture techniques, Crop Protection chemicals shall thus 
play a critical role in achieving the two objectives, viz. enhancing productivity and protecting the produce during and post-harvest period. The need for increased use of Crop Protection chemicals has been underscored by historically lower per hectare yields and pesticide consumption in India, when compared to other countries.

Through this report we have highlighted the various challenges faced by Indian Agriculture and Agrochemical sector, focused on the role that Crop Protection Chemials can play in the phase of Second Green Revolution and indicated the way forward for increasing the penetration of agrochemicals there by endeavoring to achieve the objective of food and nutrition security for the country.

We are grateful to the inputs provided by industry leaders who agreed to interact with us. Their knowledge and guidance helped us shape the report.

The report is a result of FICCI's & TSMG's objective to highlight the importance of agrochemicals in national economy and business opportunities present in the sector. We hope the report meets its objectives.