The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bayer firms to offer crop guard plan

Mumbai, April 15: Bayer CropScience India Limited (BCIL), formerly Aventis CropScience India, and Bayer Agro have entered into a strategic alliance to offer farmers a comprehensive range of crop-protection chemicals.

The alliance will help the firms introduce new products in crop protection and environmental sciences over the next three years at a time when the market for pesticides used to keep plants safe shrunk 20 per cent in 2002 due to drought in the country.

A top BCIL management will offer this package, which will include everything from dressing agents and well-known research based insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and environmental science products, country head and CEO Satish Bhambani said.

Outlining the plans Bhambani said the “one face to customer” plan will be executed through the companies’ six zonal offices, 25 regions, 21 C&Fs, 2,500 distributors, 35,000 dealers and a large field-force.

This field force will offer advisory services, organise group meetings and might also form farmer clubs to provide solutions.

Putting the drought of 2002 behind itself, the company feels 2003 will be good for the industry and the market grow to levels seen in 2001, Bhambani said.

The product portfolios of BCIL and Bayer Agro will supplement each other. This, in addition to product launches and a sharper focus on farmers, will help the company build a leadership position in the industry.

One such product, wheat herbicide Atlantis has a huge potential in the Indian market. BCIL deputy country head Satish Kaushik said they would launch a wheat herbicide, Atlantis, shortly in India.

The sales of herbicides segment was expected to increase by two to three per cent in 2003 from 15 per cent last year. The company plans to introduce two to five products each year in the crop protection category.

The crop protection industry in India accounts for 70 per cent consumption of insecticides as against the world average of 26 per cent. On the other hand, while the global average in herbicides is 48 per cent, it is at a low of 15 per cent in India. “This is where we feel Indian market has the potential, though insecticides will will occupy a dominant position,” sources said.

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