Unlike fertilisers and pesticides, these products were not regulated earlier and were sold without a certification of their efficacy, said officials. The government will set up a regulatory body for such products, they said.
ET was the first to report that the government was planning to frame guidelines to govern the use of biostimulants.
“Now biostimulants will have to be first registered with the government and will have to prove efficacy before hitting the market. Proper labelling will have to be done including name of manufacturers, ingredients and expiry date,” said a senior agriculture ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.
He said the need for a regulatory body has arisen as many companies have started manufacturing biostimulants without any authentic formulation.
“Farmers are getting cheated as there is no authority to authenticate the efficacy of the growth stimulants. The regulatory body will ensure farmers get genuine products which help in improving yield per hectare,” he said.
The biostimulant industry is highly unorganised with small players crowding the space. With growing demand for organic food products, the demand for organic farming will increase, which in turn will boost demand for biostimulants.
“Once the industry gets regulated, all non-descript players will vanish and only those with authentic formulations will remain in the market. No biostimulant shall contain any pesticides beyond a permissible limit of 0.01ppm,” said the official.
The official said the government may constitute a central committee to decide on inclusion of new biostimulants and fix specifications of various biostimulants.
“This committee will control the quality and specifications of all biostimulants and ensure that safe molecules and organic compounds are used in manufacturing,” said the official.