Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam


The year 2023 has been momentous as we’ve made significant strides during India’s Presidency of the G20. ” India’s G20 Presidency, themed One Earth, One Family, One Future,” draws inspiration from our ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” meaning “The Whole World is One Family”. The New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration is also a testament to India’s diplomatic prowess and the G20’s commitment to addressing global issues collectively and with zeal, prominently recognizes the future path for agriculture also.

The Declaration committing to eliminate Hunger and Malnutrition stresses on accelerating innovations and investment focused on increasing agricultural productivity, reducing food loss and waste across the value chain, and improving marketing and storage, to build more sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture and food systems. Equally critical and essential for our industry is the acknowledgment of agriculture inputs. The Declaration, while committing to enhance global food security and nutrition for all underscores “the importance of increasing access to, availability, and efficient use of fertilizer and agricultural inputs, including strengthening local fertilizer production, and improving soil health.”

Implicit in this statement is the pivotal role of the crop protection industry. Our industry is contributing to the significant achievements in agriculture food production and more significantly exports. From a mere 50 million tonnes of exports at the dawn of independence, our agricultural exports have grown exponentially, reaching a value of over USD 50 billion in 2021-22. The introduction of High Yielding Variety (HYV) seeds, high-quality fertilizer and crop protection products has fuelled this momentum.

Also it is worthy of note that according to the latest data from the WTO, India has emerged as the second-largest exporter of agrochemicals globally. In the financial year 2022-23, agrochemical exports from India reached US$ 5.4 billion (Rs. 43,223 crores), up from US$ 4.9 billion (Rs. 36,521 crores) in the financial year 2021-2022. The government identified the agrochemical industry as one of the 12 champion industries where India can play a significant role in the global supply chain, and the industry is proving its resilience.

The ‘Amrit Kaal’ is poised to be a transformative phase in Indian agriculture. The consistent focus on the digitization of farming, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to empower our ‘Annadatas,’ will revolutionize Indian agriculture over the next 25 years, easing the toil of our farmers and creating new opportunities for rural youth and farm workers.

The Centre’s plan to build a digital public infrastructure for the agriculture sector is set to be a game-changer. This open-source digital public good will support the growth of the agri-tech industry and startups, enabling an inclusive farmer-centric ecosystem with relevant information services for crop planning and improving access to farm input, credit, insurance, crop estimation, market intelligence, and the growth of agri-tech industry and startups. The Government of India’s Digital Agriculture Mission 2021-25 underscores the importance of projects predicated on technologies such as artificial intelligence, block-chain, remote sensing, GIS technology, drones, and robots to galvanize agricultural transformation. There are immense opportunities to promote Public-Private Partnerships as industry also is deploying cutting edge technologies to address the various challenges of the farmers.

Digital technology is pivotal in supporting innovation, boosting productivity and profitability, and endorsing sustainable farming practices. Increasingly, farmers can harness digital tools to manage farms efficiently, reduce production costs through judicious input utilization, detect pests, access weather and market information, and streamline waste management. The convergence of AI and IoT with big data, sensors, drones, and computer imaging, bolstered by analytical tools, furnishes actionable insights that drive progress.

However, we recognize that rural-to-urban migration has hindered the supply of agricultural labor, and this trend must be reversed. This can only happen if farmers are equipped with the latest and a wider range of technologies to tackle the increasing challenges posed by pests, diseases, and climate change. CropLife India has been at the forefront of advocating for the use of drones in spraying crop protection products. We provided inputs, suggestions, and shared best practices during the deliberation process for the expeditious release of SOP and Guidelines for spraying agrochemicals through Kisan Drones.

CropLife India continued to prioritize safety as the key driver for resilient and sustainable agriculture throughout the last year. Recognizing our efforts, CropLife India was honored at the India Public Relations and Corporate Communications Conference and Awards (IPRCCA) 2022 under the Corporate Communications category.

CropLife India will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure a predictable, science-based policy and regulatory regime that enhances the crop protection sector’s ability to make Indian agriculture sustainable—this remains our ongoing agenda. As always, the Secretariat has been at the forefront of all our activities. A big thank you and compliments to the entire team who worked tirelessly to implement all the initiatives during the year. I am thankful for the leadership and guidance of all Committees and Groups, making the year highly productive for our industry.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my Co-Chairs Shri. Anil Kakkar and Shri. Srinivasa Karavadi for their continued support during the year. I thank our Board of Directors for their contribution in implementing the learnings of the pandemic, which highlighted the vulnerability of supply chains and brought the focus back to strengthening Indian manufacturing. It is heartening to note that the CropLife India Board meetings, various Committee meetings, seminars, and meetings with external stakeholders saw record participation. I wish all members continued success and prosperity as we work together to leverage CropLife India’s platform for nation-building.

Dr. K. C. Ravi
Chairman, CropLife India