The sale of sub-standard, spurious and also counterfeit pesticides is a major challenge being faced by the Indian agriculture, Indian society and economy at large with serious implications for the farmers. These products not only fail to deal with pests and insects but also inflict damages on crops and the environment, which causes multiple losses. It is not only the farmers who are deprived by lower yields, consumers are deprived of safe and quality food, export earnings are reduced, causing an adverse impact on the national economy.
Counterfeit / spurious products continue to be a growing challenge for the crop protection industry, CropLife India has been continuously engaging with regulators and enforcement agencies in key states and the Central government on addressing the issue. Crop protection products are strictly regulated for product safety, biosafety, toxicity and environmental impacts. Care is taken by the Government and industry to protect public health, agriculture, food safety, economy, and the environment, using Crop Protection products. However, Counterfeit or spurious products are a growing challenge for the plant science industry particularly for crop protection products in the country, which bears a series of negative effects including economic losses for the farmers, potential harm to the environment, discouragement to honest local entrepreneurs from investing in legitimate product development, investments on technology development, loss of tax revenues and deleterious impact on potential agri-exports. The domestic crop protection consumption is worth Rs.12,500 crores and 25% of the market close to Rs.3100 crores is spurious products or illegal counterfeits, sold in the key states of Punjab, Haryana, Western UP, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Eastern part of West Bengal. Government and industry, particularly CropLife India, have been fighting counterfeits or spurious products which are unregistered bio products laced with Chemicals and counterfeits (look-a-likes) of popular brands, Illegal import of counterfeit products which have not undergone rigorous scientific testing in country while do not conform with scientific regulations.
It is important for all stakeholders like the Government, NGOs and industry, farmers, dealers and local police to partner and address this menace
CropLife India Key Initiatives
Advisory to Farmers and Dealer on Counterfeits/ Spurious products: In order to increase awareness on counterfeits / spurious products amongst pesticide dealers, the Department of Agriculture (DAC), issued advisories through letters to pesticide dealers on the consequences of sourcing and selling illegal crop protection products. CropLife India through its member companies helped reach out the Government letters to about 160,000 dealers across India.
Awareness programs for farmers and dealers: About 2700 pesticide dealers across the country were sensitized about the consequences of accidently sourcing and selling counterfeits /spurious products, while more than 1.36 lakh farmers were educated on steps to be taken to protect themselves from counterfeits/ spurious products.
CropLife India’s ACF FILM: CropLife India developed a film to educate and create awareness amongst farmers, on counterfeits / spurious and illegal crop protection products. The film has been translated into seven Indian languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, while video formats have been widely circulated and are played during all farmer engagement programs.