India has the potential to become a major global supplier of biocontrol...

India has the potential to become a major global supplier of biocontrol products in near future – Dr. Bipulbehari Saha

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Biocontrol Asia Conference and Exhibition, Bangkok, 7th – 9th June, 2017

Speaking at the 2nd Biocontrol Asia Conference and Exhibition, Dr. Bipulbehari Saha, Director R&D, L.R. Research Laboratory, NagarjunaAgrichem Ltd said that India has the potential to become a major global supplier of biocontrol products in near future. Dr. Saha expressed the opinion that the future of biocontrol and biostimulant products in India look bright as it is still in nascent stage and the opportunity of growth is huge. He said that India has highly qualified scientists, supporting Government and low cost advantage. The 2nd  “Biocontrol Asia” Conference and Exhibition was held in Bangkok from 7th to 9th June, 2017.

At the conference Dr. Saha presented on “Current Status of Biocontrol and Biostimulant Industry in India and Development Trends.” He noted that India is one of the largest manufacturers of chemical pesticides in the world, half of which is exported. In recent years, there has been considerable interest in biocontrol and biostimulant products in India and the market has been growing at CAG of 17% over last 5 years.

Dr. Saha added that farmers growing export oriented products like tea, coffee, grape etc prefer bio-products. There is also rising demand for pesticide free farm produce. Environmental concern is also driving move towards bio-products. Government of India is giving its full support for bio-products.  Currently, there are many small companies who are selling bio-pesticides.

Dr. Saha noted that the issues in India are lack of awareness amongst famers about bio-pesticides, low shelf life of some microbial products, inadequate quality assurance, high unit cost and spurious products.

Amongst other speakers at the event, Dr. William Dunham, Editor of 2BMonthly magazine gave an overview of “Global Biocontrol Market”. He said that the Biocontrol market in 2016 was 2.8$ billion and it is expected to grow at 17-20% in next few years. The projected market size in 2015 is around $11 billion. The market drivers for biocontrol products are consumer demand, pest resistance, sustainable agriculture, safety of personnel, IPM and regulatory issues with chemical pesticides.

There were several Technical Sessions such as “Botanicals and Plant Extract Based Biopesticides,” “Regulatory Aspects of Biocontrol,” “Biocontrol Markets in Asia,” Microbial Pesticides and Production and formulation of Biopesticides. In the session, “Botanicals and Plant Extract Based Biopesticides,” Christophe Zambaux, Manager, IAZ Developpement( Italy) delivered a speech on“A New Natural solution for Biocontrol & Plant Protection: Uses of Polyphenols (Condensate and Hydrosoluble Tannins as Flavano-Gallo Tannins)”. Their product is a water-based product, based on sustainable natural source (wood) and does not require any solvent. Dr. TR Girish, of Sea6Energy Pvt Ltd (India) presented a paper on, “Extracts of Tropical Red Seaweed (Kappaphycusalvarezii) on Terrestrial Plants Reveals Biostimulant and Biodefense Activities”. Sea6Energy is a start up by IIT Graduates and based in Bangalore. They are working on novel cultivation technology for large scale production of seaweed based biocontrol products.

Saurabh Singhal, Managing Director, Biotech International Ltd spoke on “Challenges and Opportunities for the Indian Agrochemical Industry to Increasingly Involve Itself in Biopesticides.”  Ketan Mehta, Director/Owner of Ecosense Labs Pvt Ltd gave a detailed presentation on “Seed Treatment with Microbials”.