NovaChem > Industry News > 2023 > Approval delays hinder agchem market

Approval delays hinder agchem market

Published on 29/09/2023

“NZ is on the cusp of losing access to new technologies unless this is remedied,” BASF NZ technical development manager Grant Hagerty told the Foundation for Arable Research conference at Lincoln in a personal perspective of the past, present and future of pesticides in NZ.
The agchem industry needs
substantial turnover to maintain its presence in NZ.

“Agchem companies can’t de
velop products for NZ without long-term stability of sales. We are a 10 to 15-year product market.”

Globally, the agchem market is
consolidating into a small number of players. These companies target a few global crops, including wheat, maize and oil seeds, and perennial pest and disease problems.

The agchem industry is being
hamstrung by the two to four years it takes to get chemistry registered in NZ through the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), despite these products already being approved for use in Australia, the United States and Europe.

Delays are now also affect
ing biological products, Grant Hagerty says.

“Time does equal money for us.
The longer we spend in the development phase the less money we make in the sales phase. We have three compounds on the market in Australia still waiting for registration in NZ even though approval for both started at the same time.”

Action by the agchem industry
in Australia meant it now had short, defined and policed time-lines for the one regulator.

Revisiting old products for new
uses is also difficult through the EPA; outcomes are uncertain, with different controls imposed than for the product’s original use.

This meant fewer new crop
uses for existing products, fewer formulation changes and so improvements, and fewer creative co-formulations.

He asked growers to go to EPA
hearings and support submissions for new chemistry.

“The majority of food that peo
ple eat will continue to be grown in large-scale crop production under the sun, not in glasshouses or warehouses.”

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