Crystal Crop launches new herbicide for paddy developed in collaboration with Battelle, Mitsui AgriScience

Crystal Crop Protection Ltd has launched a new generation of Sikosa herbicide to protect the rice crop from weeds while boosting yields. Sikosa was developed in collaboration with Battelle UK and Mitsui AgriScience International SA/NV (MASI).

CS Shukla, Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Crystal Crop, said Seikosa has been shown to be effective in controlling narrow-leaved weeds, broad-leaved weeds and epiphytes in rice.

Crystal Crop plans to offer Sikusa to rice farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh next season, which will boost its presence in rice markets across India.

With this launch, the company is looking to capture 2-3 percent market share in the previously emerging herbicide market in the country, which is estimated to be around Rs 550 crore, in the first year of launch, Shukla said. The market share could rise to 7-8 percent in the next two years.

Sikosa has been tested in various state agricultural universities with more than 1,000 demonstrations in the past five years with rice growers. It will be an exclusive offering from Crystal Crop and will help farmers grow more profitable crops by realizing maximum genetic potential.

“In this era of collaboration, Sikusa will be a great example of global collaboration in delivering R&D-based products to Indian farmers. I am confident that this next generation herbicide will play a crucial role in enhancing productivity in rice crops,” said Ankur Aggarwal, Managing Director, Crystal. Crop Protection Limited, in a statement: “Through this introduction, Crystal now has the widest range of products for the full crop cycle of rice.”

Darren Grafham of Battelle UK said: “We are excited to see the deployment of the Banyan technology co-developed with MASI and taken to market through our partner Crystal Crop Protection in India. This first product is expected to boost rice yields in India for the benefit of farmers across the continent. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Crystal to bring innovations to India.”

Seikosa will further strengthen the company’s rice portfolio, which already owns industry-leading brands such as Bavistin, Tilt, Blue Copper, Azotrix and the recently launched Mentor.

Hidetoshi Nakamura of MASI said, “We are proud to have discovered and developed a cutting-edge formulation technology with Battelle. The best-in-class formulation technology combined with Crystal’s expertise and extensive presence across India will allow Sikosa to quickly become a leading rice herbicide.”

Sikosa is expected to help increase the Crystal Crop head line by 3-5 percent in the coming years. The company has launched 14 products in the past two years and is poised to launch six to seven more soon depending on grants of registrations by the regulatory authority.