China’s pesticide manufacturers have increased their investment in the research and development of pesticides by more than 33% in the first half of 2017. This development mirrors the trend in middle-income countries.
The R&D development is a crucial factor for China to meet the strict quality and safety requirements for food. It also supports a better reputation of Chinese manufacturers to ensure the acceptance in export markets. Both, the Chinese government as well as the domestic manufacturers are fully aware of the importance of innovative pesticide development and have increased their investment into the R&D segment significantly.
In H1 2017, the total R&D investment of the 20 main listed pesticide enterprises in China hit USD122.54 million, up by 33.26% year on year. Among them, two recorded year-on-year drops in their R&D investment. And the top three enterprises by R&D investment were Huapont Life Sciences Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical Co., Ltd. and Zhejiang Wynca Chemical Industrial Group Co., Ltd.
R&D Investments of 10 listed pesticide enterprises in China, H1 2017
According to a study by the European Crop Protection Association states, that the costs for getting a new active ingredient into the pesticides market was increasing sharply from about USD152 million in 1995 to USD286 million in 2014. The costs structure of the Research can be divided into Chemistry and Biological Research, while the Development, which builds the larger costs part, contains Chemistry, Field Trials, Toxicology, Environmental Chemistry, and Registration.
It is notable, that on average, enterprises need to research and synthesize about 160,000 products to get an average of 1.5 products developed and 1 product finally registered. Back in 1995, the number researched products to get one registered product was low as 52,500. Also, the number of years from the product discovery to the first sales has increased from 8.3 in 1995 to 11.3 in 2014.
During the past decades, the spending on research and development has been shifting from high-income governments to middle-income governments. This is a trend, that is actually occurring for the first time since the modern agriculture establishment. Additionally, the public spending on agricultural and agrochemical development is decreasing currently, while the private-sector is catching up with the investing.
The increasing importance of private-sector R&D globally reflects two different developments in the agriculture sector. On the one hand, there is an impressive growth in R&D in crop genetics, farm machinery, agricultural chemicals and food processing in several middle-income countries. On the other hand, there is the offshoring of Agricultural R&D to rapidly growing middle-income countries by multinational firms, which are headquartered in the rich countries.
The company Bayer, for example, is investing around 1 billion Euro every year for its research and development segments. According to the executive management, the efforts are going to release 15 new pesticide products until the year 2020.
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