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Agro Chem Federation of India (ACFI) has demanded that the government should cut import duty on crop protection chemicals in the upcoming budget and also provide fiscal incentives to private players for undertaking research.

The ACFI is an industry body representing manufacturers/ importers of technical and formulation of pesticides at the pan-India level.

“India presently has no choice but to import to ensure that Indian farmers are not deprived of new technological crop protection solutions,” ACFI Chairman Parikshit Mundhra said in a statement.

He urged the Union Finance Minister to reduce import duty on crop protection chemicals.

Mundhra demanded that there is a need to provide fiscal incentives to private sector players to undertake research and development in the agriculture sector in association with KVKs (Krishi Vigyan Kendras).

ACFI also demanded that the GST on crop protection chemicals should be brought down to 5 per cent as in the case of fertilisers.

The Federation said that the current GST of 18 per cent on the chemicals is not in the interest of small and marginal farmers as they have to shell out more money to purchase the crop protection chemicals.

On budget demand, RG Agarwal, Chairman of agrochemical firm Dhanuka Group, said the government should provide some incentive to help farmers in faster adoption of technology.

“Government has been promoting the usage of technology in the agriculture sector in a big way over the last few years. Needless to say, the adoption of precision farming and sustainable agriculture practices will go a long way in enhancing crop yield, lowering cost, and improving soil conditions,” he said.

The adoption and implementation of the best practices need to fasten and towards this end, it would be imperative for the government to provide some financial incentive to farmers, which will encourage them to embrace technology, Agarwal said. PTI MJH MJH BAL BAL