In India today, farmers – and the entire nation – celebrate Kisan Diwas, Farmers’ Day. We join them!
With agriculture accounting for nearly two-thirds of the country’s GDP, farming is firmly woven into Indian society too. Recognised as the driving force of the economy – albeit challenged by newer industries, such as tech – Kisan Diwas honours the Indian farmers who have done so much to sustain the country’s development.
Since the turn of the 21st century, India’s agricultural output has grown more than 400%, from $101bn to $532bn, according to the World Bank. Today, India is among the top three producers of many globally traded crops, such as wheat, cotton, rice, vegetables and potatoes, while its position as the world’s number one milk producer has become known as the White Revolution (paying homage to the Green Revolution) for its success in linking millions of tiny dairy producers through a nationwide system of co-operatives.
As Claus Brakemeier, our Global Business Development Manager, found out during his recent visitto India, there’s a palpable enthusiasm in Indian agriculture to move things forward and modernise the industry. It’s a move firmly supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose predecessor – the fifth Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh – Kisan Diwas sets out to honour.
Singh was himself a farmer before entering politics; he never forgot his humble origins in Uttar Pradesh and while his tenure in the top job was short, his influence was felt in Indian agri-politics over many years, from pre-independence until he stepped down in 1980.
At FertiGlobal, we’re proud to be present in India, thanks to the hardworking efforts of SCL Commercial and its Country Manager Alam Tanveer and his team. As India’s farmers look to the future, keen to adopt innovative new products that improve both productivity and India’s agricultural sustainability, we’re working with Alam to bring research-based technologies to a wider audience.
Please join us today in thanking Indian farmers for their hard work, dedication and commitment – and sending a very special message of ‘Happy Kisan Diwas’ to Alam and his colleagues.
FertiGlobal is a fertiliser company with a difference. We’re committed to providing the world’s farmers with crop nutrition solutions that help them to farm more sustainably, more responsibly and more productively.
But what is that difference all about? How do we define what makes Fertiglobal special? In this four-part blog, we’ll share with you the ‘four pillars of FertiGlobal’ – what makes us tick, and why our products are more than ‘just another’ set of crop nutrition solutions…
We’ll start with Commercial: how we tackle our business and why we’re good at what we do.
We value our team
Behind every great business there’s a great team. FertiGlobal is no exception. Our philosophy has always been about having ‘boots on the ground’. That’s why we recruit highly qualified specialists to work in key geographies around the world. It’s these people who work closely with our carefully chosen distributors, spending time with them to understand the local challenges and their place within the global perspective. Only by hearing – first-hand – suggestions from our partners and growers can we translate them into viable – and sometimes novel – crop nutrition solutions.
We prioritise growth
With good products comes good business. We stand by our efforts to develop crop nutrition solutions that are based on sound science – recognising the essential role of nutrients and biostimulants, applying a full understanding of crop biochemistry and physiology, and focusing on the plant’s natural defence mechanisms. The result? Advanced crop management programmes that protect yield and assure quality, inspiring trust and loyalty to support our own customers’ businesses and grower relationships.
We’ve built a smart and efficient global structure, where key figures around the world take responsibility for reacting to the challenges they find. We can answer every demand from the market, in quick time. This underpins our ambition: that FertiGlobal should be the ideal partner for every grower, every distributor – wherever they are in the world – in delivering a more sustainable agriculture.
Traceability means reliability
We’ve invested heavily in full-chain assurance. This means that every one of our crop nutrition solutions used on-farm by a FertiGlobal grower can be traced back, through every stage, to its raw materials. Our full confidence in our supply chain means full confidence for our growers and distributors in the provenance, quality and efficiency of every one of our products, wherever in the world it’s used.
Those are our Commercial values. Next time, we’ll look at how our marketing team supports our products to keep our distributors informed and our growers satisfied.
We were pleased to have the opportunity to meet with staff of Bom Futuro in Brazil last month to talk about EnNuVi technology products and present Rumis and Dolce to them – which came to the Brazilian market in 2021.
Bom Futuro is one of the largest grower groups in Brazil – producing 1.7m t grains and pulses and 300,000t raw cotton every year (just one part of their multi-faceted enterprise).
As an organisation environmental protection and production quality are at the heart of their work and we were pleased to have the opportunity to meet with a group whose sustainability goals are so closely aligned with our own.
In developing the FertiGlobal crop management approach for sustainable agriculture, we always strive to put the farmer first. Only by understanding their needs can we achieve our own objectives. What are farmers’ requirements for innovation? What solutions will help them to improve agricultural yields and quality while, reducing the environmental impact of crop production?
Key to this approach is our ‘boots on the ground’ philosophy. We’re in regular contact with the end-user. Face-to-face, out in the field, seeing first-hand the challenges they face. Every business needs a reality check. This is ours.
So it was that Claus Brakemeier, our Global Business Development Manager, paid a recent visa to India. For anyone involved in agriculture, it’s a fascinating country. It has the second-largest cropped area of any country after the United States and is among the top-three global producers for crops such as wheat, rice and cotton. But that ranking also hides its agricultural diversity: the country’s farmers turn out grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, tea and sugar cane, not to mention dairy products, in ever-increasing quantities.
For FertiGlobal, it’s an important market. India’s farmers are keen to adopt new, more modern agricultural practices. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has highlighted the importance of chemical-free agriculture and its benefits for the environment. Many in India recognise that agriculture needs to be more climate-resilient and less water-intensive – India has the world’s largest area of irrigated cropland – and that there should be a greater focus on soil health.
“Our crop management strategy considers the entire crop lifecycle,” Claus explains. “This remains a rare approach in crop production. Many other ‘solution providers’ seek to focus only on individual issues or problems.
“By concentrating on crop health and nutrition, we take a more holistic approach,” he continues. “Our bioactive technologies, such as EnNuVi and FOLISTIM, support plant defence systems and allow farmers to reduce the use of chemicals such as fungicides.
“We need to encourage crop resilience, if we’re to help farmers adapt to the challenges of a changing climate and societal pressure to farm more responsibly. That’s particularly important in a country like India, where nearly 50% of the workforce is involved in agriculture.
“Yet the country’s overall productivity has yet to be realised. Encouraging the adoption of new practices is vital if we’re to shift farmers towards a more modern, more sustainable and more efficient farming system.”
SCL Commercial India provides in-country representation for FertiGlobal. Country Manager Tanveer Alam was appointed to the FertiGlobal team in 2018 and has been responsible for giving the company its Indian foothold.
“I’m delighted to have helped build our presence throughout India,” he says, noting that FertiGlobal now has a presence in more than half of India’s 28 states.
“FertiGlobal technologies are now benefiting farmers across the country and the business is growing in line with our expectations.”
Among the farmers Claus Brakemeier met during his August visit were grape growers in Pune, and apple growers in the Kashmir Valley.
“It was particularly valuable to have time to listen to the challenges of apple-growing, and to be able to take those concerns back to our R&D team in Italy,” he said.
“Together, we’ll find ways to link our research-based technologies to the support that farmers need not just in India, but in all the countries where we’re present.”
At FertiGlobal we are proud to be working with key players in the global food market. We’re happy to celebrate World Coffee Day on the 1st of October by giving a shout out to all our partners involved in coffee production.
This summer our Brazilian team met coffee growers to put together a Crop Management program which will integrate with innovative monitoring systems aimed at preventing plant stress, while ensuring greater, quality yields. All working towards bringing you the high quality, delicious flavor of coffee which is loved the world over.
From our headquarters in Italy to the fields of India we are proud to be distributing our products across the globe.
Our India team recently met with M/s Vachan Seeds at Raipur, Chattisgarh of India who were interested to learn how our products could support their seed production business growing tomato, Okra, Brinjal and cucurbits.
It was also great to join Srion Agri Solutions Ltd in Andrha Pradesh, India recently to discuss our product with their customers.
Great discussions were had and it was a great opportunity to discuss FertiGlobal technologies and how they can help in the production of quality crops.
We were also pleased to join them on customer visits in the Tadipatri and Ananthapur regions.
Key to our work across the globe is getting to know our customers, and helping them to know our product.
Potato Europe: underlining the importance of this essential crop
Wheat, maize and rice may be the world’s top three crops, but guess what’s at number four?
The potato is the world’s most important non-grain crop, and Europe is the world’s second-largest potato producer. That makes Potato Europe, the annual exhibition for the European potato industry, a major event in the calendar of growers and suppliers alike.
Held this year in Germany, Europe’s largest producer, the September event saw Fertiglobal join over 100 exhibitors and 8,000 visitors in flocking to Lower Saxony – Germany’s ‘potato state’ – to exchange ideas and information on current topics and new products.
“The potato’s come a long way since it was first introduced to Europe less than 500 years ago,” says Dr Matthias Griesbach, Fertiglobal’s sales director, and one of the five-strong Fertiglobal team at the two-day event.
“Besides its role as a staple crop, the potato is also agronomically significant, historically, as one of the first crops in which farmers recognised the value and importance of fertiliser.
“Today, we continue to help farmers get more from their crops through appropriate and innovative potato nutrition products. It’s great to be exhibiting at a show like Potato Europe and discussing our innovative, environmentally friendly nutrition technologies.”
Innovations in Potato Farming
Innovation was certainly a major thread running through Potato Europe 2022. This year’s event incorporated a special exhibition, Smart Potato Farming, which highlighted the role of digital technologies in current potato production – Europe is a hotbed of agritech development – and the exciting tech solutions that are just around the corner.
“We were particularly interested in some of the sensor solutions,” says Dr Griesbach, “especially those relating to spot spraying and innovative nozzle technologies, because they fit with our own Fertiglobal philosophy about resource-use efficiency and farm productivity.
“We must reduce our use of plant protection products and improve fertiliser efficiency,” he says. “On-farm labour is also a well-recognised problem for many producers. Good, reliable technology can provide the industry with viable solutions to these challenges.”
Potato Europe is an annual event, rotating between Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. With visitors from more than 65 countries in attendance, it reaches far beyond a purely European audience: attendees from North Africa, North and South America, and Asia – key regions for Fertiglobal – also come to the exhibition to keep abreast of industry trends.
Visitors commonly cite information on new varieties, cultivation and agronomy methods, and on-site demonstrations of equipment as the main reasons to visit the event in person.
“Potato Europe is a key showcase for technological leaps in potato production,” says the event’s supervisory board, “making this event important not only for potato growers but also the entire value chain. The key solutions to current problems from operational practice are usually always presented here.”
Potato Europe 2023
If you didn’t manage to make it to the 2022 event, put these dates in your diary: 6-7 September 2023, near Tournai, Belgium. We’ll look forward to meeting you!