CCM: What makes it so difficult to develop novel pesticides in China 03-14-2016

At present, the competition among generic pesticides is intensifying, so it is the best option for China to jump out of the trap of generic pesticides homogenization by developing novel pesticides.


Chinese novel pesticides have some common problems, such as the small number of varieties, poor marketing and substandard profits. A number of factors have inhibited the development of novel pesticides, including inadequate investment into R&D and the high time and cost expenditure required for registrations.


At present, the competition among generic pesticides enterprises is fierce. However, enterprises can move into the development of novel pesticides to avoid the competition. The implementation of China's pesticide usage reduction policies and the emergence of biological pesticides encouraged enterprises to develop high added value novel pesticides

In fact, China has achieved some success in novel pesticides. According to Dr. Li Zhonghua, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the China Crop Protection Industry Association, during the "12th Five-Year" period (2011-2015), China made breakthroughs in terms of pesticide varieties. For example, six varieties were approved for temporary registrations and eight varieties were approved for formal registrations.

Chinese development of novel pesticides is facing its bottleneck. Firstly, there are only a few varieties that have strong brands. Secondly, there are very few varieties can generate high profits. Thirdly, the popularization and application processes were so slow that some enterprises had no passion for the R&D of novel pesticides.


Liu Changling, a pesticide expert and general engineer from Shenyang Research Institute of Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. pointed out that there are five problems that affect the development of Chinese novel pesticides.

Enterprises lack R&D investment

The overall investment on scientific research by Chinese pesticide enterprises is severely insufficient, with less than 2% of revenue allocated to R&D. Compared with international giant companies, there is a huge gap.


China has insufficient investment on pesticide R&D

In China, the expenditure on pesticide R&D is less than 10% of that of medicine. Moreover, most of the national pesticide R&D funds were spent on the R&D in a few colleges and universities and novel pesticide bases, which means that it is difficult for private enterprises to take up a small proportion of the R&D funds. Therefore, private enterprises often feel that they are incapable of performing R&D because of their lack of R&D funds.


Novel pesticides have high registration costs and long registration periods

Confronted with the time-consuming registration and fund shortage, it is conservatively estimated that it takes an enterprise at least 4-8 years and over USD763,000 (RMB5 million) to register a novel pesticide. The opportunity cost is so high that many domestic pesticide enterprises are unwilling to take action, restricting the progress of novel pesticides.

Scientific research does not match commercial aims, and it is difficult to transform scientific achievements into industrial production

If scientific research cannot be put into practice and pesticides enterprises lack the requisite technology, it is impossible for novel pesticides to develop.

Slow popularization and application discourage enterprises

Enterprises are unexperienced in promoting novel pesticides. Besides, they are not good at using the public plant protection platforms to help them promote their products.


People in the pesticide industry suggest that only innovation can boost the development of novel pesticides.

Dr. Li Zhonghua expresses that under the downturn of pesticide market, the key is to grasp opportunities through independent innovation to develop novel pesticides. Therefore, it is imperative to increase R&D investment on novel pesticides.

  • The government should invest more and implement some policies and incentives for industry, academia and the research community to jointly promote the development of novel pesticides.
  • Pesticide enterprises should increase investments on research and development. The current level of investment is insufficient.

Wang Biao, CEO of Shandong Taibao Biotech Co., Ltd. stated that the nation should offer more help to private pesticide enterprises and to let them set foot in the novel pesticide market. It is of importance to stick to market-oriented guidelines. China should pay more attention to basic research development and allow more private enterprises to become part of the novel pesticide market.

Huang Anhui, General Manager of Hunan Wanjiafeng Technology Co., Ltd. pointed out that the administrative department of pesticide registrations on one hand should pave the way for novel pesticides. To be specific, it can exempt some of the charges and give enterprises enough time to mitigate against the costs and time. On the other hand, it should guide them to transform and to begin producing high quality and highly efficient pesticide varieties, as well as encouraging them to research and develop and to register products with proprietary intellectual property rights.

Fan Kuncheng, General Manager of Zhejiang Xinnong Chemical Co., Ltd. said that if China wants to vigorously expand its novel pesticide market, it must do the following:

  • To take advantage of public promotion platforms;
  • To improve connections between the scientific research, production and marketing of novel pesticices, which is to make full use of R&D institutes and manufacturers;
  • To create a mode of marketing and agro-chemical services. Enterprises have to provide crop solutions for the whole process from sow to harvest for planters.


About CCM:

CCM is the leading market intelligence provider for China’s agriculture, chemicals, food & ingredients and life science markets. Founded in 2001, CCM offers a range of data and content solutions, from price and trade data to industry newsletters and customized market research reports. Our clients include Monsanto, DuPont, Shell, Bayer, and Syngenta. CCM is a brand of Kcomber Inc.


For more information about CCM, please visit or get in touch with us directly by or calling +86-20-37616606.


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