The Pesticide Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India (PMFAI) expressed concern over European Union’s proposal to categorise Endosulfan as a persistent organic pollutant (POP).
According to PMFAI, EU’s proposed move to launch new, patented, expensive products in the Indian market will be against the interests of the farming commmunity.
Currently, farmers use generic pesticides which are available at affordable prices. Interestingly, Anil Kakkar, director, Crop Care Federation of India, said in countries such as India where small acre farming and sustainable farming was widely prevalent, a ban on Endosulfan would deprive the Indian farmer access to an affordable and effective crop protection solution and alternatives are likely to be harmful to the farm ecosystem and destroy pollinators and beneficials.
“The European Union’s proposal to list Endosulfan as POP is against the interests of Indian farmers as they will be forced to buy patented pesticides at high prices,” said R Hariharan, chairman, International Stewardship Centre Inc (ISC). For instance, Imidachloride, a product touted as a replacement to Endosulfan costs `2,000 per litre, while other alternative pesticides such as Thiamethoxam costs `3,200 per litre and Coregen `700 a litre while Endosulfan is only `200 per litre.
According to estimates, the global crop protection industry is worth $40 billion and the top three companies alone account for over 50 per cent. “There is a strong motivation for the European multinationals to replace widely used, generic and low-priced pesticides with their high-priced patented alternatives,” said Pradip Dave, president, PMFAI.
Endosulfan is the third largest selling generic insecticide worldwide with global market in excess of 40 million liters valued at over $300 million with replacement cost of alternative estimated to be in excess of $1 billion. India’s share in global Endosulfan market is over 70 percent. Similarly, exports of Endosulfan from India are valued at $40 million.