Delay in regulatory clearances is slowing down the technology transfer to India's agricultural sector, a top official with global agri major Syngenta on Tuesday said.
With more than $ 14 billion dollar annual turnover, Switzerland-based Sygenta which as significant presence in country's hybrid seeds market, has been facing delays in regulatory clearances for the chemical mixtures which improves crop protection.
“Many of the technology for crop protection and improvement has been readily available globally. Yet because of slow pace of regulatory approval, the introduction of new technology and solutions had been delayed,” Davor Pisk, Chief Operating Officer, Sygenta told FE.
The company which also has a major presence in India's agrochemical market, had applied to the agriculture ministry for introduction of insecticides – ampligo, difenoconazole and propiconazola few years back. “We are yet to clearance for such chemical mixtures because of lack of availability of technical manpower in the agriculture ministry,” Pisk said.
He said government's policy makers must address the concern of regulatory constraints urgently so that farmers get global technology at faster pace.
He said for introduction new chemicals, it takes more than two years of field testing before the product is approved for commercial use. “No other regulatory systems have such time consuming process which slows down introduction of new chemicals even with a small variations,” Pisk noted.
Syngental is major players in India's hybrid seeds varieties – cotton, corn, tomato, cabbage, caulipower, okra and sweet corn. In 2011-12, the company reported a turnover of Rs 357 crore on its seed business against combined turnover of Rs 2539 crore for the country.
Notwithstanding the slow progress of expansion of hybrid rice area in the country, Syngenta is bullish about India's market. The company is banking on varieties developed by Belgium based Devgen which Syngenta acquired last year
Syngenta acquired Beglium based Devgen by paying $ 523 million which is expected to help expand hybrid rice seed market in India. Devgen has rice traits that have been engineered to resist disease, as well as other formulas for crop protection.
“We admit that earlier varieties of hybrid rice introduced earlier in India was not accepted by consumers. We need to improve the quality of hybrid rice varieties which would be acceptable to consumers,” another official with Syngental said.
Syngenta is also planning to scaled up its patented technology Tegra, where seedlings are transplanted mechanically and also supported by agronomy consultation services. Tegra was developed by