To protect farmers from unregulated biostimulants, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Trilochan Mohapatra on Friday said a team has been set up to study the matter in depth.
While there is no legal definition of biostimulants, they include diverse formulations of compounds, substances and microorganisms that are applied to plants or soils to improve crop yields, quality and tolerance of abiotic stresses.
Currently, the biostimulants are not regulated like fertilisers and pesticides in the country.
“Since these products are not regulated, many manufacturers are selling without testing their efficacy. This segment is growing fast and there is a need to regulate it,” Mohapatra told PTI.
These products are being sold in the country without any regulation. For instance, in Rajasthan, it is believed that the size of the biostimulant market is roughly estimated to be around ₹ 300 crore, he said.
“We have set up a team to look into the matter. The team will study in depth,” said Mohapatra, who is also secretary to the Department of Agriculture Research and Education.
The ICAR chief has also written a letter to the agriculture department suggesting the need to regulate biostimulants in the country.