Government to set up regulatory body for biostimulant market

A regulatory body, as well as compliance requirements, have been instituted for the biostimulant market in India

April 6, 2021

Labeling of products to exhibit chemical composition and expiry dates will be mandated.

The regulatory body will oversee molecule and biostimulation specifics, safety requirements for products etc.

The agrochemical industry consists of farming-related services as well as specialty services.

Compliance requirements including toxicology and bio-efficacy trials should be enforced cautiously as per industry experts.

The MSME-dominated biostimulant market in India will now be subject to regulatory provisions put forth by the Government of India. The unorganised segment of the biochemicals sector is currently worth US$ 201mn and is one of the fastest-growing sub-sectors of the economy. The regulations will require manufacturers to label the products to include chemical composition and expiry date, as well as mandatory prior registration with the government. The regulations will also allow for the establishment of a regulatory body to oversee the end-to-end movements within the industry. An official with the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare elaborated on the role of the regulatory body as follows  “This committee will control the quality and specifications of all biostimulants and ensure that safe molecule and organic compounds are used in manufacturing, Once the industry gets regulated, all non-descript players will vanish and only those with authentic formulations will remain in the market. No biostimulant shall contain any pesticides beyond a permissible limit of 0.01ppm,” The move is expected to provide farmers with economical and organic options to help increase crop yield per acre. 

The agrochemical landscape in India is dominated by farming-related services and specialty products. FICCI categorises biostimulants under the latter alongside micronutrients,  biopesticides, and biofertilizers that have recently begun to permeate the markets. Three components are crucial to fostering growth within the sub-sector and they are : (i) maximising production, (ii) increasing trade and marketing potential, (iii) policymaking conducive to the growth of FDI and the sector at FDI. Given that the space is dominated by small businesses, government support in aiding R&D practices can greatly aid innovation. Industry leaders opine that aspects of compliance such as bio-efficacy trials and toxicology reporting could discourage small and medium-sized players from participating in the industry.  Guiding the policymaking process to make the space a level-playing field to both small and large players will help the sector contribute close to 20-25% of annual growth.