India loses nearly 30% of its potential crop to insects, weeds and rodent attacks. The Pesticides/Crop Protection/Agrochemicals industry plays a crucial role in protecting crops from damage by weeds, pests, insects and fungus, both before and after harvest. This helps to increase crop yields, which is important given the rate at which cultivable land is shrinking.
Pesticides, also referred to as agrochemicals, are chemical compounds used for crop protection. The industry manufactures two main types of products: a) technical grade pesticides (the basic concentrated chemical compound) and b) formulations from these technical grade pesticides (the usable form of pesticides). Technical grade pesticides are both manufactured locally as well as imported.
From a modest beginning in 1947, when DDT was first used for malaria control, pesticide consumption in India has grown to a total market size of over Rs. 45000 million in FY 03. The total installed capacity of technical grade pesticides is approximately 140,000 tpa. Out of the 143 pesticides registered in the country, 66 technical grade pesticides are manufactured in India. Agricultural usage of pesticide in India commenced in 1949 with the application of BHC for locust control.