The only manufacturer of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in India, the Hindustan Insecticides Ltd (HIL) is on the verge of major breakthrough for the replacement of it and by April, 2018 the state run company, would come out with a new, safe and internationally patented molecule which can used safely in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Rural & Marketing, SP Mohanty, Chairman & Managing Director of HIL said that the new molecule is being developed by the the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai and tests are being conducted. We would introduce it to replace DDT by April 2018. The new molecule would be safe and internationally patented.
With international pressure mounting to ban unsafe pesticides, HIL was also looking at development of alternatives to DDT. The company tied up with the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, to develop a bio-degradable alternative to DDT which can be used as an indoor residual spray. HIL contributed Rs 1.2 crore for the project.
HIL is also at the advanced stage of development of technology for insecticidal treated nets- Long Lasting Insecticide Net (LLIN)- which is currently being promoted by WHO as alternate vector control tool and widely used in African countries and China, Malaysia.
“The LLIN is being developed at our own Research Centre. With LLIN and new molecule, we would be able to phase out DDT. The Net project is being funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and we are getting Rs 35 crore as Grant for this through Union Environment Ministry,” explained Mohanty, adding that this product will also be available in the market by April 2018 and HIL see huge domestic demand of nearly 60 million initially.
Currently, the HIL is the only public sector producer of DDT in the country and the pesticide contributes nearly 25 per cent to the turnover of the company which has crossed Rs 380 crore in 2016-17 with net profit at Rs 3.28 crore. Being a marketing wizard ( Director Marketing), Mohanty, who has been assigned the additional charge of CMD in July 2016 had started turning around the company much earlier. Better financials, diversification, innovations and smart working came because of his wide experience in the agrochemicals sector.
Now, the company targets a turnover of Rs 500 crore in the current fiscal and focus would be on Public health and new businesses such as fertilisers, biopesticides and organic fertilisers. Broadly, HIL business verticals include Public Health, Agrochemicals, and Seed.
“We are all set to market fertliser products under its own brand name ‘ Jivan’ and sourcing will be done through imports and tie-ups with Indian & global companies. We have signed agreements with National Fertilisers Ltd (NFL) and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) to sell and market their urea in domestic market,” the CMD said.
With Fertilisers in its portfolio, HIL has now now cover whole crop cycle from Seeds, Fertilisers to Insecticides. The company was incorporated in March 1954 to supply DDT for the National Malaria Eradication Programme, launched by the Centre. Subsequently, the company diversified into agro pesticides, and has grown manifold with a turnover of about ₹ 340 crore in the last financial year. With a mantra “ Protect to Prosper,’ HIL aims to be a global player in the field of crop protection and public health. The company is making all efforts to provide quality products through clean and safe technology which would enhance agricultural productivity and promote Public Health along with increasing product range, exports, efficiency and productivity.