CropLife India and FICCI jointly organized a webinar on “The importance of safety in manufacturing – Indian crop protection industry”; operation and execution of production change management. The chief guest on this occasion was Samir Kumar Biswas, additional secretary (Chemicals), Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India.
Samir Kumar Biswas, additional secretary (Chemicals), Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India said that keeping in the backdrop recent unfortunate incidents, the webinar is aptly timed; as it will dwell upon the self-assessment of the safety of the manufacturing facilities. The agrochemical industry contributes heavily towards the food security and provides employment to a large workforce and has been a champion sector as of its exports, next only to the pharmaceutical industry; which has been receiving its due share of ‘ease of doing business’ while removing bottlenecks and progressive regulatory measures to safeguard the environment.
R G Agarwal, chairman FICCI – Crop Protection Committee and Group chairman, Dhanuka Agritech said that the agrochemical industry might be small but has a colossal impact on the food security of the nation. Although IT systems have helped evolve the safety of the agrochemical plants; skill enhancement and continuous training of the workforce, both by the Government and the industry are the need of the hour, which would further elevate the levels of safety in the industry.
Asitava Sen, chief executive officer, CropLife India said, “Agrochemicals have been identified as one of the champion sectors where India has the potential to become a major global supply hub. The cross-industry discussions have highlighted the diversity of implementation practices in the industry towards safety and the challenges encountered in implementing and maintaining effective management of change programs; and has served as a platform for sharing evolving best practices.”
The webinar witnessed the release of FICCI compendium on Covid Relief Initiatives of the crop protection industry.
Panel discussions in the webinar
During the Panel Discussion 1 – Risk awareness, safety takeaways, and pathways to overcome industrial challenges, panelists discussed issues related to policy and governance; operational practices; internal and external environment, and resources. The deliberations were done at a strategic level – encapsulating the national industrial perspective; operational level – driving safety in operations and the safety takeaway; enumerating the global point of view. Views were exchanged on some of the major challenges faced to match the agility of operations demanded during the execution of production change management and how sustainability initiatives can help the Indian industry build a positive image; across the globe.
The Panelists of the Panel Discussion 2 – Potential strategies for a way forward discussed the prospective strategies and role of key stakeholders namely regulator, academia, and the industry. Discussions enhanced governance structure during the times where the world is exploring alternate manufacturing locations revolved around the introduction of practical experience in course curriculum, career tracks for process safety professionals with special emphasis on the topic of how best to motivate everyone for taking ownership with putting safety first and motivating the employee responsible for safety as no one gets a bonus for not blowing up the plant.
The webinar observed the participation of eminent speakers both from India and the global agrochemical industry, including Dr K C Ravi, chairman, CropLife India and chief sustainability officer – Syngenta; Raju Kapoor, director, Public & Industry Affairs, FMC India; Geetali Thakur, HSE head, Deccan Fine Chemicals; Lalit Gabhane, director general, National Safety Council of India; Roman Prochazka, Global head for EHS, Agricultural Solutions, BASF; Pradeep Jain, president – Operations, PI Industries; Alok Chandra, vice president- HR & Corporate Sustainability (EHS & CSR), Rallis India; Robert Stanton, head Product Supply APAC, Bayer CropScience; Rahul Raman, Director, Kaypear Consulting; Mahesh Chandak, head of HSE – South Asia, Bayer Group; Sandeep Vichare, Tolling Production manager Lead- South Asia, Syngenta; Umesh Dhake, Regional manager- Asia Pacific & Middle East, Centre of Chemical Process Safety (CCPS); Rajeev Marwah, Independent consultant for chemical industry; Sianghee Tan, Executive director, CropLife Asia and Manoj Mehta, director & head – Chemicals, Petrochemicals and Civil Aviation, FICCI.
CropLife India is committed to advancing sustainable agriculture and it is an association of 15 R&D-driven member companies in crop protection. It jointly represents ~ 70% of the market and is responsible for 95% of the molecules introduced in the country. Its member companies have an annual global R & D spend of US$ 6 billion (approximately Rs 43,827 crore) and are firmly committed to engaging with the farming community to enable a safe, secure food supply.