Indian Agriculture adapting to new normal

Dr. K. C. Ravi


CropLife India


As I reflect on the year gone by, I am only reminded of the oft quoted phrase “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. The resilience of our farmers in the wake of the unprecedented Covid pandemic was indeed remarkable. Thanks to their untiring effort, India is headed to a record food grain production of 308.65 million tonnes according to the fourth advance estimate for the 2020-21 crop year. It is also equally noteworthy that our members also showed great resilience in ensuring that critical inputs are available to the farmers without any interruption facilitated at every step by the government. The members also supported the government wholeheartedly in the fight against Covid by way of PPE kits, sanitizers, medical equipment and also providing helplines, provisions, food distribution for farmers in the hour of crisis.

The year has also been one of great learning and partnership with Government, Industry and the Civil society. Everyone adopted to the ‘new normal’ and found newer ways of working to convert the crisis into opportunity. Technology played a big role in bridging the gap of restricted movement and everyone worked towards the singular objective of ensuring that the farmers and the rural communities were supported.

I would like to place on record that the government was available to listen to every concern of the industry not only in the hour of crisis, but also work on key reforms for “Making India a Global Agrochemical Manufacturing Hub” throughout the year.

It is also heartening to note that the CropLife India Board meetings, various Committee meetings, Seminars and meetings with external stakeholders took place with record participation throughout the year, in spite of restricted movement, thanks to the digital platforms!

Thanks to the tremendous work of our members, CropLife India received the coveted award for commendable work in “Changing Public Perception” during FICCI’s India Chem 2021 Conference and Awards. I would also like to share with pride that CropLife India was honoured with CropLife Asia Stewardship Awards “For Best Digital – Contribution to Indian Agriculture during the Covid-19 Pandemic”.

Looking at the road ahead we will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure:

a predictable, science based policy and regulatory regime for the proper growth of the crop protection sector to make our farmers and Indian agriculture sustainable
a forward looking progressive Pesticide Management Act and Rules which promotes innovation and new product introduction to address the current and future challenges of the farmers
Introduction of cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Drones in service of the farmers
Public Private Partnership for making India an agrochemical hub

I acknowledge and complement the CropLife India Secretariat team who put forward their best during this year. The tireless work of all Committees / Groups greatly supported by members needs a special mention. I am grateful to them for providing leadership for driving a vast range of initiatives.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Sanjiv Lal and Mr. Anil Kakkar for their continued support during the year. I thank all office bearers and our Board of Directors for their contribution in making the last one year significant one in the backdrop of the crisis. I look forward to continued engagement with members and wish them all the best in their endeavours!

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and together we will overcome the pandemic.