Agriculture is the backbone of the rural economy. It is hard to imagine that the food on our plates can be spurious and hazardous. While the sector contributes to roughly 18% of the country’s GDP, the agriculture industry remains largely unorganized. The supply chain is scattered. As unusual as it sounds, counterfeiting of agro products is ubiquitous. Surveys have found that Indian farmers spend a whopping 125 million dollars every year on pesticides alone. However, roughly 25% by value and 30% by volume of the pesticide market has counterfeit or illegal products. For an agrarian monsoon-dependent country loss or damage to harvest due to counterfeit can pose serious threats. To protect farmers, consumers and the environment, Acviss is dedicated to ensuring fake products are not used in farming and agriculture.
Why counterfeit thrives in the agriculture sector?
- Repackaging black-market: Counterfeit manufacturers purchase genuine, branded bottles of pesticides and insecticides from farmers at almost 25% of the maximum retail price on the bottle. These bottles are then refilled and repackaged with substandard, spurious, and counterfeit products.
- Regulatory mechanism failure: lack of awareness and unethical practices often render prohibiting laws and regulatory mechanisms insufficient in arresting the thriving counterfeit market. Unchecked illegal imports of total formulation or active ingredients add to the easy sale of substandard pesticides.
- Low price: The counterfeit agro-products cost about 40% of the genuine products, thereby incentivizing farmers to use the fake products.
- High margin: The margin on counterfeit agro products can be high as 30%. In contrast, the margin on genuine agro products can go only up to 5%. Thus it is profitable for retailers to push for counterfeit agro products.
- Lack of Awareness: When substandard products, including pesticides, fertilizers, and seeds are sold as genuine, it is difficult for unsuspecting farmers to authenticate.
- High demand: Organic products and hybrid seeds come with a promise of safe food and high yield. These premium products become easy targets of counterfeit because of the high demand.
Why we need to act NOW?
- Revenue and Yield loss: The use of spurious agriculture products can reduce the overall yield of farm produce in India by 4%, which is 10.6 million tons of food grains.
- Reduction in exports: Importing countries impose checks and counter checks to ensure that the products have been sprayed with only legally permitted pesticides and insecticides. The use of counterfeit fertilizers and seeds will bring down the quality of the product, thereby risking the rejection of such goods from importing countries. They may even boycott the import of some crops which regularly fall prey to counterfeit agro products. This can lead to irreparable economic loss for countries that rely on the export of food grains for economic stability.
- Elimination of incentives for investments: When counterfeit agriculture products thrive, it discourages entrepreneurs and plant science companies from investing in legitimate produce development.
- Environmental Hazards: Counterfeit agro-products do not go through risk safety assessments, unlike genuine legitimate products. Thus counterfeits are a potential harm to the environment.
- Authenticity Verification: Acviss’s authenticity verification technology ensures that end-users get instant and easy access to product-related information, through smartphone apps or web-links
Blockchain and Traceability: Acviss’s hyper ledger customizable blockchain and track and trace technology ensure companies should have greater visibility of the product on a real-time basis throughout the supply chain.
- Collaborative and customized solutions: Acviss collaborates with government agencies, manufacturers, retailers, and key stakeholders throughout the product lifecycle to gain industry insights and curate cost-effective customized solutions.
- Integrates into Packaging: With a multi-hierarchy solution, Acviss integrates into primary and tertiary packaging.
- Labels and Markings: With overt and covert markings, easy authenticity verification, end users can distinguish between copy-cat products easily.
- Loyalty Management: Acviss multitiered loyalty management program rewards genuine users and is already integrated to support multiple redemption options like Wallets, UPI, Bank Transfers, White Goods, Acviss is a one-stop solution for loyalty management.
- Acviss App: Available as Acviss App, White Label App, or SDK on both Android and IOS platforms. It is also available on the web.