India’s Rampant Counterfeit Pesticides Could Imperil its Future as a Grain Exporter
At a value of US$3.8 billion, the pesticide industry in India is far from its infancy according to JS Sandhu, deputy director general of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research and Agriculture Commissioner to the Indian government.
However, a report issued by the chamber of commerce group, Ficci, found that 30% of the agrochemicals being used in the country are “counterfeit, spurious, adulterated, or sub-standard”. Taking into consideration that the sector is growing at 20% per year, if the issue of counterfeit agrochemical use is not dealt with, India could see 40% of all pesticides on the market being counterfeit by 2019.
The effects of these findings are widespread, encompassing human and animal health, soil degradation, loss of revenue to both farmers and manufacturers, and loss of standing in global markets.
The Ficci report determined that the use of fake pesticides could likely be accountable for the loss of 10.6 million tons of agricultural production in 2015, along with causing irreversible ecological damage. The study also warns that the use of illegal chemicals by India’s producers could result in importing countries rejecting shipments of Indian grain and agricultural products costing the country US$26 billion, with a loss of fruit and vegetable exports costing the country an additional US$1.4 billion.