Importance of crop science
In order to maintain profitable production of useful industrial crops, the Crop Science research focus area is equipped to study the importance of soil and crop cultivation practices in different environments on the growth, yield and quality of our mandated crops.
Fully equipped soil, water and plant analytical laboratories support researchers and farmers with data useful on fertilizer recommendations to optimise efficient use of expensive fertilisers.
Both commercial and small-scale producers are provided with optimum cultivation packages for cultivars in South Africa. Continuous testing programmes are conducted on newly bred or imported cultivars at different planting dates, plant populations and fertility levels to support the information data banks. Sensitivity of newly released cultivars to herbicides and the effectiveness of weed control programmes are continuously tested.
Chemical crop protection products, commonly referred to as pesticides or agrochemical products, play a vital role in controlling the pests and diseases that infect, consume or damage crops thereby significantly reducing the quantity and quality of food production, while the benefits of agricultural innovation goes to farmers and consumers. Chemical crop protection products or “pesticides” help control insects, diseases, weeds, fungi and other undesirable pests. It is estimated that annual crop losses could double without the use of crop protection products. Based on the type of pesticide, the pesticide market is classified into fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and others. On the basis of the type of crop, the pesticides market has been categorized into rice, cereals, fruits, rice, corn, nuts, soyabean, cotton, vegetables, and others. The pesticides market will witness robust growth in the vegetables, fruits, and nuts segment. Synthetic pesticides have been extensively used in the country for alleviating the estimated 45% gross loss of crops due to infestation of pests and diseases.
Since the discovery of DDT in the 1940s, chemical pesticides were largely used in farming practices. The importance of pesticides for agriculture is enormous because they are considered as one of the major tools to protect crops and increase the yield. Today, the crop protection products sector is a fast-developing industry, which is open to innovation. The pesticides market is also propelled by factors like growing population, and the need for minimizing crop damage.
The opportunity lies in developing and executing innovative farming solutions that address the needs of the Indian farmer with very low landholding size, resources and knowhow available to him. India has to ensure food security for population of 1.21 billion while facing reduction in cultivable land resource. With increasing population, demand for food grains is increasing at a faster pace as compared to its production. This necessitates the use of pesticides or crop protection chemicals in a judicious manner within the confines of a regulatory framework of the country.
The Asia-Pacific regions consumption and demand for pesticides is primed to witness fast growth on a global basis, with China and India taking clear lead in propelling this vital segment of crop protection products. Population statistics in the region have been responsible for maintaining adequacy in agricultural practices, ensuing in greater utilization of pesticides in areas that were ignored in the past. India’s pesticides market is slated to post a volume CAGR of 8.9% and a value CAGR of 9.3% between 2014 and 2020.
Advances in Crop Science and Technology Journal