Connect with:
Saturday / June 22. 2024

This collaboration aims to develop and commercialise high-yielding, high-quality rice varieties that are resistant to pests and adaptable to the changing climate.

To boost Vietnam’s rice production and quality, Vietnam Seed Corporation (Vinaseed), the country’s leading seed corporation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). This collaboration aims to develop and commercialize high-yielding, high-quality rice varieties that are resistant to pests and adaptable to the changing climate.

IRRI Director General Yvonne Pinto and Vinaseed CEO Nguyen Quang Truong signed the agreement during a workshop on developing a circular economy in rice production and processing on (DATE) in Can Tho City.

The MoU outlines several key areas of collaboration, including:

Knowledge sharing: Training and technology transfer in gene technology, rice breeding, and AI for rice characteristic assessment.

Genetic resources: Sharing genetic materials for testing and breeding rice varieties suitable for Vietnamese conditions.

Developing super rice: Joint research to create high-yielding, high-quality rice varieties that are pest-resistant and adaptable to climate challenges.

IRRI brings extensive experience in rice research to the table. It also manages the International Rice Genebank with over 127,000 unique rice gene sources. For Vinaseed, this vast genetic library will be a valuable resource for developing new rice varieties.

The company already has access to nearly 500 promising new rice lines that show resistance to various diseases and adaptability to conditions like drought, submergence, and salinity when it joined IRRI’s Network for Accelerated Rice Varieties for Impact in 2021.

The partnership between Vinaseed and IRRI holds significant promise for the future of Vietnam’s rice sector. By combining IRRI’s research prowess with Vinaseed’s market reach, Vietnam can develop and deliver high-quality, climate-smart rice varieties, ensuring food security and propelling the country’s rice industry further.

This collaboration aims to develop and commercialise

Company’s first five projects will cover 30,000 hectares and will deliver an annual reduction of 120,000 metric tonnes of CO2e emissions.

Mitti Labs, a pioneering tech-enabled project developer, has announced the initiation of its first projects aimed at transforming rice farming in South Asia. Working alongside the Syngenta Foundation, Ebro Foods and Dr Reddy’s Foundation, the company has launched five rice projects across India which will reduce methane emissions, increase water security and build farmer resilience.

Mitti Lab’s first five projects will cover 30,000 hectares and will deliver an annual reduction of 120,000 metric tonnes of CO2e emissions. The emissions reduction will generate high-quality credits that help to diversify credit buyers’ portfolios, as well as making a significant positive impact on water scarcity and farmer livelihoods within the region. The company’s projects are expected to expand to cover 200,000 hectares over the next two years.

To deliver these projects, Mitti Labs is working alongside more than 40,000 smallholder farmers to embed and measure more sustainable agricultural practices. Alongside the environmental benefits of the projects, the work will increase the financial resilience of participating rice farmers, who earn the majority of revenue from each carbon credit sold, increasing their annual incomes by up to 30 per cent.

India is the world’s second largest rice producer, but the country faces significant threats to the livelihoods of rice farmers from the effects of climate change. Mitti Labs launched in India to tackle this. The company’s 120-person operations team works with on-the-ground community partners to activate grassroots networks and train participating farmers in new agricultural techniques that can reduce methane emissions by 50 per cent and water consumption by 30 per cent.

Xavi Laguarta, co-founder at Mitti Labs, commented: “We embarked on this journey with the belief that every climate problem is a climate solution. Our goal is to transform traditional rice farming, changing both the environmental footprint of rice and the lives of farmers who are already battling extreme climate-induced drought. We can’t ignore methane in the quest for net zero, and this means driving finance straight to the source, to help farmers adapt their agricultural techniques to a changing climate. We’re working closely with farmers and partner organizations to build confidence in a new type of rice farming, and a new type of carbon credit.”

The successful launch of Mitti Labs’ first five projects is just the start. The company has 10 more projects in the pipeline and, by the end of 2025, plans to mitigate 360,000 tonnes of CO2e per year whilst expanding geographically across Southeast Asia. This ambitious strategy will be supported by a planned funding round in early 2025.

Company’s first five projects will cover 30,000

The first plant under this collaboration will be established in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh soon.

Ray Nano Science & Research Centre announced a groundbreaking partnership with Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Limited (HURL). This strategic collaboration marks a significant milestone in the agricultural sector, paving the way for innovative advancements in fertilizer technology.

The partnership between HURL and Ray Nano Science & Research Centre is set to redefine the future of urea manufacturing in India. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and a shared vision for sustainable agriculture, this collaboration promises to deliver transformative solutions that will benefit farmers and the environment alike.

The first plant under this collaboration will be established in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh very soon. This facility will serve as the cornerstone for the production and distribution of Nano Urea, setting the stage for widespread adoption and substantial benefits for the agricultural sector.

Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Limited (HURL) stands as the largest manufacturer of conventional urea in India. With a robust production capacity and a commitment to enhancing the agricultural landscape, HURL’s expansion into Nano Urea technology signifies a new era of growth and innovation. The potential for Nano Fertilizers is immense, offering more efficient and sustainable solutions for farmers across the country.

This agreement follows extensive evaluations and detailed discussions, underscoring the mutual commitment of both organizations to revolutionize the urea industry.  Mohanty, Chairman of HURL, remarked, “Nano Urea is just a beginning & we are going to work on many other products in future.” His statement reflects the shared vision of both entities to drive continuous innovation and sustainability in agriculture. HURL’s decision to partner with Ray Nano Science was based on three compelling reasons:

Extremely Promising Efficacy Reports: Rigorous testing and research have demonstrated the superior effectiveness of Ray Nano’s Nano Urea Technology, promising substantial improvements in crop yields and overall agricultural productivity.

100% Green & Patented Technology: Ray Nano’s Nano Urea Technology is environmentally friendly, aligning with global sustainability goals and reducing the ecological footprint of urea production.

Very Innovative Future Products: The forward-thinking approach of Ray Nano Science assures a pipeline of groundbreaking products that will continue to push the boundaries of agricultural technology.

The first plant under this collaboration will

The company anticipates capturing an 8 per cent market share, translating to Rs 500 crore in revenue within the first two years.

Specialty agrochemical manufacturer, Best Agrolife Ltd announced that it has received regulatory approval for Nemagen, a new patented insecticide formulation designed to combat resistant pests. The company is gearing up to launch this product in July under the brand name ‘Nemagen’.

 Lepidopteran pests, such as borers, have significantly expanded their host range and developed resistance to current insecticides. This resistance has led to substantial crop losses, ranging from 30 to 50 percent. Nemagen aims to address these challenges, providing an effective solution for farmers struggling with these destructive pests. Best Agrolife Ltd has received the 9(3) Formulation Indigenous Manufacture (FIM) registration for an under-patent formulation.

Nemagen, a highly effective broad-spectrum insecticide, is formulated with a unique technical combination of Chlorantraniliprole, Novaluron, and Emamectin Benzoate. This combination offers exceptional control over a wide array of pests, particularly targeting lepidopteran pests such as shoot and fruit borers, and also proving effective against Coleoptera and Diptera pests.

Best Agrolife Ltd estimates the market size for products targeting lepidopteran pests to be approximately Rs 6,300 crore. The company anticipates capturing an 8 percent market share, translating to Rs 500 crore in revenue within the first two years following the launch of its new insecticide, Nemagen. Its versatility allows for application at various stages of crop growth, making it suitable for use on vegetables, field crops, fruit crops, and pulses.

The company anticipates capturing an 8 per

Suhas Baxi, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BiofuelCircle shares his view on the biomass supply chain with AgroSpectrum in an exclusive interview.

A cloud-based platform, the BiofuelCircle Marketplace links supply chain participants in rural areas with industry. Businesses are able to tap into a previously unregulated market for verified local biomass and biofuel providers. Suppliers of biomass and biofuels, in turn, are able to network with potential customers ranging in size from individuals to corporations. In a recent test auction on the BioFuelCircle platform, NTPC Limited successfully sold biomass pellets to NTPC Mouda. Suhas Baxi, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BiofuelCircle shares his view on the biomass supply chain with AgroSpectrum in an exclusive interview.

In what ways do you think allied industries will use agri-waste in the future? How much agri-waste does India produce each year, and what percentage of that has been put to use by allied industries?

Every year, farms in an agricultural nation like India produce at least 235 million metric tonnes of extra agricultural residue. This amounts to around 25 per cent of India’s oil imports, which is the same as 125 million MT of coal or 600 million barrels of crude oil. When used in its entirety, this agricultural waste has the ability to provide 17 per cent of the nation’s energy demands, provide farmers with a new revenue stream, and boost employment opportunities in both rural and urban areas. The potential biomass market in our nation is large enough to fuel an economy worth forty billion dollars. But for a variety of reasons, over 70 per cent ends up in the trash or burned.

We must set up a whole farm-to-fuel ecosystem if we want to make the most of this opportunity. Coordinating and empowering all parties involved in the biomass supply chain would necessitate tremendous effort, considering the precarious nature of the rural-industrial connection. 

Could you please list the most significant obstacles in turning agri-waste into a high-quality product or service?

Research of India’s agricultural biomass sector reveals that inefficient supply chains are to blame for the country’s pollution and wasting problems.  Aggregation becomes more challenging when rural resources are fragmented, meaning that land holdings are tiny and dispersed. While biomass is needed continuously, it is only available for a short period of time each year during harvests. Logistics and storage costs are very high, which is another big problem. One more thing hurting the already-suffering rural suppliers: they can’t reach industrial buyers directly.

How is the government supporting companies which are working in recycling agricultural waste into a viable product?

This industry has been designated as a priority sector for loans by the government of India. Several programmes have been established by the Ministry of Oil and Natural Gas and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. There is a demand for start-up capital in the biomass supply chain, biomass aggregation and processing, and bioenergy refineries. Providing tools is simply one part of the approach. Here is an area where the public and private sectors, in addition to the government, are working together to accomplish both short-term goals and long-term objectives.  As part of our Local Markets mechanism for the supply chain of biomass, we are collaborating with MNRE to establish biomass businesses in rural areas.

How technology can be the game changer in this drive of converting agri-waste to a formidable product?

A few million farmers, seasonal supplies, small rural businesses, round the year industrial demand and service providers for transport, quality, finance etc make for an interesting use case for digitalisation. To top it, traceability of biomass from its origin to its end use will create a reliable framework for carbon neutrality. Along the way, one also needs to address issues associated with incentivization, price discovery, standardisation, and supply reliability.

While applications such as food delivery, transport services etc which have a consumer end use have become popular, for biomass one needs a platform that makes it easy for millions of farmers to participate, while providing a robust framework for industries too. All this requires a strong technological connection which has to be coupled with a skilled and hardworking team. The biomass supply chain is still at a very early stage. We currently use about 20 per cent of the available Agri-residue biomass. At its maturity, the biomass product supply chain has a potential to be more than 40 billion US$ in annual turnover. The opportunity is for us to put a strong digital technology framework that creates ease, efficiency, reliability, and choice.

What inputs are required for the growth of the biomass sector in India?

Technology, legislation, finance, and infrastructure are all important parts of the puzzle when it comes to expanding India’s biomass industry. Spending on research and development to enhance processing, conversion, and yield of biomass feedstock is one major requirement. Another area of focus is in-depth research into improved harvesting methods and the creation of disease-resistant biomass crops with increased yields. Cooperation with development organisations and international financial institutions for the purpose of obtaining financial and technical support can further support this industry. Biomass production and usage training sessions for technicians, farmers, and other business people can help in maintaining a healthy supply chain. Coordinated efforts across these many inputs are crucial to the success of India’s biomass sector. India can fully utilise biomass energy to promote energy security, rural development, and environmental sustainability by attending to technical, financial, infrastructure, human resource, and environmental concerns.

What are the growth strategies and plans of BiofuelCircle for FY 24-25?

The BiofuelCircle is working on an entrepreneurial approach to help FPOs and farmers increase their bioenergy capacity. They are receiving advice from MNRE, GIZ, and BAIF. Through its internet platform, BiofuelCircle has offered a new idea for a rural business: a Biomass Bank. This bank would help with collecting, aggregating, transporting, and processing biomass for green energy. Buyers and sellers of biomass and biofuels can use BiofuelCircle’s digital platform to find commodity- and region-specific prices, as well as to trade online at market-driven prices. A more transparent and predictable pricing structure encourages investments in storage and opens up financing opportunities in the bio-energy sector. Such linked regional marketplaces are the basis of the BiofuelCircle concept.

                                                                                           By Nitin Konde

Suhas Baxi, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

 It aimed to address vulnerabilities and knowledge gaps in small-scale fish farming communities, promote climate-smart fish farming, and adopt climate-resilient technologies and infrastructure.

ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Goa, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Energy and Resource Institute, a prominent non-profit research institute, to engage in collaborative research, extension, and capacity building in agriculture, fisheries, and allied sectors. The partnership aimed to address vulnerabilities and knowledge gaps in small-scale fish farming communities, promote climate-smart fish farming, and adopt climate-resilient technologies and infrastructure, and establish a knowledge-sharing platform along with market linkages.

Dr. Parveen Kumar, Director, ICAR-CCARI, emphasized the significance of collaboration in promoting holistic and sustainable development of coastal life by leveraging the combined expertise of both institutes.

Dr. Elroy Pereira, Associate Fellow, TERI, emphasized TERI’s commitment to provide all necessary support to the institute in facilitating research, capacity building, and extension activities in the relevant fields.

 It aimed to address vulnerabilities and knowledge

On completion, Vadhavan Port will be one of the top 10 ports of the world.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved setting up a Major Port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharastra. The Project will be constructed by Vadhavan Port Project Limited (VPPL), an SPV formed by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) with a shareholding of 74 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively. The Vadhavan Port will be developed as an all-weather Greenfield deep draft major port in Vadhavan, Palghar District, Maharashtra.

The total project cost, including the land acquisition component is Rs.76,220 Crore. This will include development of Core infrastructure, Terminals and other commercial infrastructure in public-private partnerships (PPP) mode. The cabinet also approved establishing the road connectivity between the Port and National Highways by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and rail linkage to the existing rail network and the upcoming Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor by Ministry of Railways.

The Port will comprise nine container terminals, each 1000 meters long, four multipurpose berths, including the coastal berth, four liquid cargo berths, a Ro-Ro berth, and a Coast Guard berth. The Project involves the reclamation of 1,448 hectares of area in the sea and the construction of 10.14 km of offshore breakwater and container/cargo storage areas. The Project will create a cumulative capacity of 298 million metric tons (MMT) per annum, including around 23.2 million TEUs (Twenty-foot equivalents) of container handling capacity.

The capacities created will also aid EXIM trade flow through IMEEC (India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor) and INSTC (International North South Transportation Corridor). The world-class maritime terminal facilities promote public-private partnerships (PPP) and leverage efficiencies and modern technologies to create a state-of-the-art terminal capable of handling mainline mega vessels plying on international shipping lines between the Far East, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. Vadhavan Port, on completion, will be one of the top ten ports of the world.

The Project, aligned with the objectives of PM Gati Shakti program, will add to further economic activity and also have the potential for direct and indirect employment opportunities for around 12 lakh individuals, thereby contributing to the local economy.

On completion, Vadhavan Port will be one

Global collaboration will help further sustainable animal protein production and enable growth by bridging silos in the food value chain. 

 Deloitte announced its expanded global collaboration with dsm-firmenich—innovators in nutrition, health, and beauty—to cultivate a more sustainable food system. This collaboration is part of Deloitte’s latest effort to explore, develop, and scale new climate and nature-positive solutions, working directly with businesses to help implement future-proof strategies and promote transparency across the food ecosystem.

dsm-firmenich’s innovative Software as a Service platform Sustell™is at the center of the collaboration and is designed to calculate the environmental impact of producing animal protein at scale, harnessing data directly from the feed and farm sectors within an organization’s value chain. Producing sustainable eggs, meat, milk and seafood requires the ability to accurately assess environmental impact based on this primary data from the field, which also serves as a baseline from which improvements can be measured. Sustell™ can assist organizations in reducing their farm animal-related environmental footprint by helping identify impact hotspots and incorporating intervention modeling across various scenarios.

Deloitte will help expand and enhance the platform’s reach, improving vital economic information flow from processors and consumer-packaged goods providers to feed producers, farmers, and integrators. Deloitte will also help enable growth opportunities for businesses deploying the capabilities of Sustell™ by advising them on how to operate the platform, apply insights to their operations, and prepare environmental, social and governance reporting. More broadly, this collaboration will help bridge silos in the value chain by rapidly connecting ecosystem players to help create and protect value and collectively achieve meaningful sustainability improvements.

“The food industry needs holistic value chain transparency to make better choices and transform to future proof business models,” says Jorg Schalekamp, Partner, Consulting, Deloitte Netherlands. “This collaboration will help leaders in the agricultural sector access the precise, real-time data and insights that they need to embed sustainability considerations into their operations, contributing to a virtuous cycle that can drive both a profitable agriculture sector and a more sustainable global food system.”

Animal farming alone accounts for 14.5% of all human-derived greenhouse gas emissions, and the agriculture sector is the largest contributor to global methane emissions. International regulatory entities are escalating their scrutiny of the agriculture sector, with the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive and Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive among some of the emerging regulations that require improved transparency regarding the environmental impacts of food, from farm to plate. This growing pressure for more sustainable agriculture and food systems leaves food producers increasingly looking for solutions to help identify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nitrate pollution, water usage, and biodiversity impacts while more effectively using raw materials.

“Sustell™’s approach makes precise, tailored environmental accountability the new normal across the animal farming industry,” says Dr. David Nickell, Vice President of Sustainability & Business Solutions at dsm-firmenich, Animal Nutrition & Health. “It is the standard that can help open the door to commercial opportunities by driving customer demand, enabling grants and preferential development finance, opening new income streams through carbon credits and data royalties, and lowering environmental impact. Our critical, on-the-ground insights on animal feed and farming, coupled with Deloitte’s global leadership and cross-sector knowledge, will help unlock the missing ingredients needed to create a greener food ecosystem for everybody.”

Global collaboration will help further sustainable animal

The highest absolute increase in MSP over the previous year has been recommended for oilseeds and pulses viz. nigerseed (Rs 983/- per quintal).

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all mandated Kharif Crops for Marketing Season 2024-25. Government has increased the MSP of Kharif Crops for Marketing Season 2024-25, to ensure remunerative prices to the growers for their produce. The highest absolute increase in MSP over the previous year has been recommended for oilseeds and pulses viz. nigerseed (Rs.983/- per quintal) followed by sesamum (Rs.632/- per quintal) and tur/arhar (Rs.550/- per quintal).

The increase in MSP for Kharif Crops for Marketing Season 2024-25 is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the MSP at a level of at least 1.5 times of the All-India weighted average cost of production, The expected margin to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of bajra (77 per cent) followed by tur (59 per cent), maize (54 per cent) and urad (52 per cent). For rest of the crops, margin to farmers over their cost of production is estimated to be at 50 per cent.

In the recent years, Government has been promoting the cultivation of crops, other than cereals such as pulses and oilseeds, and Nutri-cereals/ Shree Anna, by offering a higher MSP for these crops.

During the period 2003-04 to 2013-14 for 14 crops covered under Kharif Marketing Season, the minimum absolute increase in MSP was Rs.745/- per quintal for Bajra and maximum absolute increase was Rs.3,130/- per quintal for Moong while during the period 2013-14 to 2023-24, the minimum absolute increase in MSP was Rs.780/- per quintal for Maize and maximum absolute increase was Rs.4,234/- per quintal for Nigerseed. Details are at Annexure-I.

During the period 2004-05 to 2013-14, the procurement of 14 crops covered under Kharif Marketing Season was 4,675.98 Lakhs Metric Ton (LMT) while during the period 2014-15 to 2023-24, procurement of these crops was 7,108.65 LMT. The year-wise details are at Annexure-II.

As per the 3rd Advance Estimates of production for 2023-24, total foodgrain production in the country is estimated at 3288.6 Lakhs Metric Ton (LMT), and oilseeds production is touching 395.9 LMT. During 2023-24, kharif production of rice, pulses, oilseeds and nutri-cereals/Shree Anna and cotton is estimated to be 1143.7 LMT, 68.6 LMT, 241.2 LMT, 130.3 LMT and 325.2 Lakh bales, respectively.

The highest absolute increase in MSP over

The project is already underway and will run until 2025, involving 15 pilot farms across Belgium.

Raffinerie Tirlemontoise, a beet sugar producer, BENEO, a leading manufacturer of functional ingredients, and Puratos, a global leader in bakery, patisserie, and chocolate ingredients, have joined forces to launch a pioneering Climate Farming Project. The ambitious initiative supports Belgian farmers in implementing more sustainable farming practices and promotes regenerative agricultural principles that contribute to enhancing soil health and reducing environmental impact.

Addressing climate change and ensuring resilient farming practices is crucial to meet the demands of future generations. The project partners recognise that this requires collaboration between the agricultural sector and the food industry. Empowering farmers through training and stimulating the exchange of knowledge are key components of this joint commitment.

The project is already underway and will run until 2025, involving 15 pilot farms across Belgium. Together, they will cultivate sugar beet, wheat and chicory according to various regenerative farming methods in an area equivalent to the size of more than 1,100 football fields.

Throughout the project, farmers will work on specific farming measures. This includes strategies such as reducing mineral nitrogen fertilization and pesticide use through more organic means and enhancing biodiversity by planting flower strips and hedges next to the fields. Improving the biomass of cover and catch crops that are planted after the main crop harvest will also reduce soil erosion and enhance soil fertility and biodiversity in agroecosystems. In addition, it will aim to reduce the tillage and soil work to different degrees as a measure to combat erosion. These efforts are supported by the localised application of mineral fertilisers, the use of organic fertilisers, biopesticides and the early sowing of multi-species catch crops.

At the outset, the Climate Farming Project engaged in a comprehensive diagnostic phase using a farm assessment tool called Greencard. This initial evaluation was crucial in setting measurable objectives and selecting appropriate regenerative agriculture practices, which could then be implemented in subsequent phases. The results can be used to expand these practices to other farmers working with BENEO and Raffinerie Tirlemontoise.

Through this partnership, Raffinerie Tirlemontoise, BENEO and Puratos underscore their shared commitment to sustainable farming practices and the pursuit of innovative solutions, all while respecting the needs of farmers and future generations.

The project is already underway and will

Given that global annual losses due to nematodes are estimated at $157 billion, this technology marks a significant progress in sustainable nematodes management.

 Futureco Bioscience, a Spanish biotechnological company that specializes in researching, developing, and manufacturing biological products, has been granted from the European Patent Office a new patent (EP 3934428 B1) for a new microbial bionematicide technology. This patented achievement underscores Futureco Bioscience’s investment in research and innovation and the company significant role in advancing the biocontrol manufacturing industry.

This patent acknowledges the innovative strain B410 of Metabacillus halosaccharovorans. Isolated from organic farming soil in Almería (Spain), this strain possesses nematicide properties. Moreover, its mesophilic, neutrophilic, and halotolerant characteristics, along with its strong biofilm production, make it particularly valuable in agriculture, especially in arid regions and saline environments.

While studies are still ongoing, preliminary results have shown that this strain notably inhibits the hatching of nematode eggs. Its effectiveness is particularly evident against root-knot nematodes (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita, M. javanica, M. arenaria, and M. hapla as well as and potato cyst nematodes (PCN) Globodera rostochiensis and Globodera pallida.

The first formulation of the active ingredient has been designed as an Oil Dispersion (OD), that ensures a finely stable dispersion of the active ingredient in a water immiscible solvent. Formulation has been obtained by scalable manufacturing approach using state-of-the-art liquid fermentation technology, designed to maintain a high concentration of the active microorganism, which allowed to achieve levels in the range of 109 CFU/mL.

Carolina Fernandez, R&D Director at Futureco Bioscience, commented: “Currently, there are no truly effective nematicide products, whether biological or chemical, that can adequately address the issues plaguing the sector. This is largely due to the complex ecosystem in which these diseases thrive: the soil. The nematode-nematicide pairing and the treatment’s effectiveness are influenced by soil complex characteristics (type, texture, structure, aeration, moisture content, pH, etc.) and the microbiome proliferating within it. Moreover, each ecosystem has unique populations and species, and a nematicide’s efficacy may vary under field and geographical conditions.” Fernandez continued, “It’s crucial to test a microorganism’s potential nematicide activity under a broad range of diverse conditions in vitro, then in climatic chambers and greenhouses before field trials. In particular settings, we expect the effectiveness to be compromised to a certain degree. Fortunately, at Futureco Bioscience, our facilities allow us to replicate and test a wide range of scenarios, so we only bring solid and reliable results to the field.”

Given that global annual losses due to

Major export items include frozen shrimp and frozen fish; US & China remain top export destinations.

India’s seafood exports touched an all-time high in volume during the financial year 2023-24 despite various challenges in significant export markets. India shipped 17,81,602 MT of seafood worth Rs 60,523.89 crore (US$7.38 billion) during 2023-24.

Frozen shrimp remained the major export item in quantity and value, while the USA and China became the major importers of India’s seafood. During FY 2023-24, the export improved in quantity terms by 2.67 per cent. In 2022-23, India exported 17,35,286 MT of seafood worth Rs 63,969.14 crore (US$8,094.31million).

“India recorded an all-time high export in terms of volume by shipping 17,81,602 MT of seafood worth US$ 7.38 billion, despite the several challenges in its major export markets like the USA, EU & the UK,” D V Swamy IAS, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), said.

Frozen shrimp, which earned Rs 40,013.54 crore (US$4881.27million), retained its position as the top item in the seafood export basket, accounting for a share of 40.19 per cent in quantity and 66.12 per cent of the total dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 0.69 per cent in quantity terms.

The export of frozen shrimps during 2023-24 was pegged at 7,16,004 MT. The USA, the largest market, imported 2,97,571 MT of frozen shrimp, followed by China (1,48,483MT), the European Union (89,697 MT), Southeast Asia (52,254MT), Japan (35,906MT), and the Middle East (28,571 MT).

The export of black tiger (BT) shrimp increased by 24.91 per cent, 11.33 per cent and 8.28 per cent in quantity, value and US$ terms, respectively, in 2023-24. BT shrimps were exported to the tune of 38,987 MT worth Rs 2855.27 Cr (US$347.84 million).  China (including Hong Kong) turned out to be the major export destination for black tiger shrimp with a share of 28.43 per cent in terms of US$ value, followed by the USA (18.21 per cent), European Union (18.06 per cent) and Japan (13.12 per cent).  Scampi exports have shown a positive trend of 6.42 per cent, 23.22 per cent and 18.96 per cent in quantity, value and US$ terms, respectively, in 2023-24. The Vannamei shrimp exports have grown in 2023-24 by 0.33 per cent by volume; however, they declined by 11.56 per cent from US$ 4809.99 million to US$ 4253.86 million.

Major Export Destinations

As for overseas markets, the USA continued to be the major importer of Indian seafood in value terms, with an import worth US$2,549.15 million, accounting for a share of 34.53% in terms of US$ value. Exports to the US increased by 7.46 per cent and 1.42 per cent in quantity and value ₹ terms; however, they declined by 3.15 per cent in US$ terms. Frozen shrimp continued to be the principal item exported to the US, with a share of 91.90% in US terms. Exports of black tiger shrimp to the US increased by 35.37 per cent in quantity terms and 32.35% in value in US terms.

China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan) emerged as the second largest seafood export destination country for India in terms of US$ with an import volume of 4,51,363 MT worth US$1,384.89 million, accounting for 25.33 per cent share in quantity and 18.76 per cent in US$ terms. Exports to China grew by 12.80% in quantity; however, they declined by 0.88% in ₹ value and 4.21% inUS$ value. Frozen shrimp, the major item of exports to China, had a share of 32% in quantity and 55.11 per cent in US$ value, while frozen fish had a second most share of 36.83% in quantity and 21.56% in terms of US$ value out of the total exports to China.

Japan is the third largest importer, with a share of 6.06 per cent in quantity and 5.42 per cent in US$ value terms. Frozen shrimp continued to be the major item of exports to Japan, with a share of 33.26% in quantity, 65.94% in ₹, and 65.98 percent in US$ value.

Vietnam holds the fourth largest market position, importing 1,32,086 MT worth US$ 391.41 million. Frozen shrimp dominates the import with a share of 55.43% in US$ earnings and 30.11% in quantity, followed by dried items.

Thailand is the fifth largest market, with a US$ share of 3.82 per cent and a third-place position by volume (7.77 per cent share), with 1,38,457 MT worth US$ 281.97 million. Frozen fish remained the significant item exported to Thailand, accounting for a share of 44.37 per cent in US$ earnings and 63.91 per cent in quantity.

Major export items include frozen shrimp and

Transportation challenges, including port blockages and shipment delays, along with increased freight costs, have exacerbated the situation, adding to the overall price surge.

The edible oil market has witnessed a price increase in recent months, driven by multiple global factors. These factors have caused fluctuations in global edible oil markets, leading to price hikes of Rs 50 to 70 per 10 kg in most edible oils. Currently, cottonseed oil stands at Rs 975 per 10 kg, up from Rs 930 per 10 kg three months ago. Soybean oil is now priced at Rs 970 per 10 kg, compared to Rs 910 per 10 kg, and rice bran oil has risen to Rs 950 per 10 kg from Rs 890 per 10 kg over the same period. Similarly, sunflower oil is priced at Rs 980 per 10 kg, up from Rs 900 three months ago and mustard oil stands at Rs 1190 per 10 kg, increased from Rs 1060 per 10 kg three months ago.

Sunflower oil supply from Russia and Ukraine is limited due to the off-season, aggravated by high temperatures impacting both end-season and upcoming crops. This disruption has also led to increased demand and prices for alternative oils. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has particularly impacted the global supply of sunflower oil, with Ukraine being a major producer.

Workers’ protests in Argentina and floods in Brazil, have significantly disrupted soybean oil supplies. Lower crushing of soybean this season and reduced shipments from Argentina via Brazil have tightened supply, leading to a price hike. Additionally, the Israel-Palestine conflict has further contributed to supply chain disruptions, affecting the availability and pricing of various edible oils.

Transportation challenges, including port blockages and shipment delays, along with increased freight costs, have exacerbated the situation, adding to the overall price surge. Despite these increases, market players predict that the price hikes are temporary.

 Priyam Patel, Managing Director of NK Proteins Private Limited, commented, “Stabilisation is expected as market conditions adjust, and geopolitical tensions potentially ease. A resolution of conflicts could improve supply chain stability and decrease prices. Additionally, increased production in upcoming harvest seasons is anticipated to boost supply, helping to stabilise prices. Government measures to manage inflation and support the agricultural sector may also contribute to market stabilisation.”

Transportation challenges, including port blockages and shipment

Under the terms of the agreement, Rovensa Next will be supplying its Orange Oil to the EU-27 and Great Britain’s biocide markets, exclusively through Limaru.

Rovensa Next, a pioneering leader in biosolutions for agriculture, has announced a groundbreaking partnership with Limaru, a leading solutions provider to the global biocide industry. Under this agreement, both parties agreed to collaborate in developing, registering and marketing safe, practical and eco-conscious pest control solutions based on Orange Oil for the EU-27 and Great Britain biocide industry.

The partnership between Rovensa Next and Limaru exemplifies a synergistic alliance between two industry leaders in their respective fields. By combining Rovensa Next’s expertise in biosolutions for agriculture and Limaru’s proficiency in biocide technologies, this strategic bond is committed to driving innovation and sustainability within the biocide sector.

Rovensa Next’s Orange Oil is derived from Citrus sinensis peels through a unique cold-press process starting from freshly harvested oranges. This production process allows to safeguard high stability and efficacy of the active ingredient and in addition, Orange Oil is safe for users and the environment.

Originally developed by Oro Agri, a Rovensa Next founding member, the technology was refined through extensive research over the past two decades, resulting in various patented formulations and applications primarily catering the needs of the agricultural sector.

Rovensa Next’s Orange oil features unique properties that allow Limaru to develop and create effective biocidal solutions while ensuring environmental sustainability. Furthermore, the characteristics of orange oil make it safe in use both indoors and outdoors, being respectful with humans and domesticated animals.

This newly formed partnership between Rovensa Next and Limaru aligns with the growing demand for naturally sourced biosolutions, as an alternative tool in the biocide market, catering to the needs of eco-conscious consumers seeking safe, practical, efficient and sustainable solutions.

Limaru plans to incorporate Rovensa Next’s Orange Oil in product formulations for insect pest management that will initially target the more common pests such as mosquitoes, houseflies and crawling insects. However, beyond mere insect pest management solutions, other applications for Orange Oil within the biocide markets are currently being explored, a testament of Limaru’s focus and commitment to harnessing the full potential of Orange Oil.

About the agreement

Under the terms of the agreement, Rovensa Next will be supplying its Orange Oil, that is renowned for its efficacy and environmental sustainability, to the EU-27 and Great Britain’s biocide markets, exclusively through Limaru.

Limaru is committed to developing and distributing new biocide formulations in Europe and Great Britain, according to Wim Decraemere, CEO at Limaru, who concluded that “Thanks to our collaboration with Rovensa Next, we aim to redefine the standards of efficacy and sustainability in biocide development, utilizing their naturally sourced Orange Oil to create groundbreaking, eco-friendly pest control solutions.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Rovensa