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Agro-chemical firm to diversify

- Dhanuka Agritech to focus on speciality product promotion

Guwahati, Jan. 23: Agro-chemicals manufacturer Dhanuka Agritech Limited is planning to double its market share in the Northeast by introducing new products and reaching out to farmers in the region’s interiors through direct dealers.

The New Delhi-headquartered company, which manufactures a wide range of agro-chemicals such as herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators, forayed into the region in 1999.

“Our current market share in the Northeast is 7.5 per cent and we expect it to grow by 15 per cent in the next three years. This we plan to achieve by introducing new molecules in different segments of the tea industry. We are also planning to increase our reach through direct distributors and dealers,” Partha Sengupta, general manager (business development), Dhanuka Agritech Limited, told The Telegraph.

The company plans to focus on specialty product promotion through its extension network to reach out to farmers. “We have an aggressive plan to reach out to farmers with our all new products and specialty products,” Sengupta said. Barring Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, the agro-chemicals maker has distributors in all the states of the region.

“So far, we have covered most of the tea-growing areas in all the districts of Assam and Tripura. Three years back, we started operating in Meghalaya and Mizoram. We are one of the major suppliers of agricultural technology in Manipur,” he said.

Dhanuka’s target customers are primarily farmers and its growth drivers are an intensive marketing network, increased farm income, growing awareness about the cost-benefit trade-off of agro-chemicals, highly diverse product range with solutions to problems in all crops, innovative marketing strategies and international technical tie-ups.

The company has a pan-India presence with a network of over 7, 500 distributors and dealers selling products to over 70, 000 retailers and reaching out to more than 10 million farmers. “We have 100 distributors in the Northeast, of which, 80 are in Assam,” Sengupta said.

Conventional pesticides dominated the agro-chemicals market in the Northeast back in the late nineties. “A number of companies were already present, but specialty products were not reaching the farming community. The operations of companies were limited to small areas and usage of fertilizers was much lower than now,” the official said.

Dhanuka is also working very closely with the tea industry in Assam. “We are one of the leading solution providers in the tea industry, having continuously brought new molecules and technologies to serve the sector and improve the quality and yield of premium tea. The eco-friendly products are marketed by us for quality-conscious and export-oriented houses in the tea industry,” he said. “We organise seminars on a regular basis to transfer technology to the managers of tea companies,” Sengupta said.

Assam, for its part, has of late laid special emphasis on boosting farm output with the help of new technologies. In this connection, the first Assam International Agri-Horticultural Show was organised in Guwahati recently, where Dhanuka Agrotech had showcased world class agro-solutions to farmers. “A team had counselled farmers on crop-related problems and their solutions at the show, which was a great initiative undertaken by the government of Assam,” he said.

Dhanuka is working closely with the Krishi Vigyan Kendras of the region. “We have plans to work with the state governments for transferring technology to the farming community in the years to come,” the official said.

On its investment plans in the region, the official said, “As of now, there are no plans to invest, but the company is open to expansion in future.”