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The Manufacture of Pesticides and other Agrochemical Products
The agrochemicals industry produces a range of pesticides or crop protection products to support the agricultural industry, thus helping to ensure food security and promote economic growth. The latest available data from Statistics South Africa indicates that total income in this important yet controversial sector was R30.983bn in 2014. The industry is highly concentrated with the five largest companies accounting for 53.1% of all income.
The use of glyphosate remains controversial with many commentators convinced that the herbicide causes cancer. According to the South African Department of Science and Technology, 86% of maize and 85% of soy in South Africa is genetically modified and most of the country’s crops are sprayed with the weed killer Roundup which contains glyphosate.
Since 2015 several international mega-mergers have been proposed that will impact on the future of the industry. These involve global giants, ChemChina and Syngenta, DuPont and Dow, and Monsanto and Bayer. Should these mega-mergers be permitted by competition authorities, the three merged companies would own more than 60% of the world’s patented seeds and pesticides. Locally Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto is likely to be contentious, as several civil society organisations have raised concerns about its impact on small-scale farming.
The Manufacture of Pesticides and other Agrochemical Products describes current conditions and the regulatory environment and provides information on imports and exports. Factors that influence the success of the sector are also covered, and include drought and threats to crops posed by new pests such as the Fall Armyworm. Profiles for 12 companies are provided including smaller players, Scientific Chemicals (Pty) Ltd and Kombat (Pty) Ltd which both have one manufacturing site and employ fewer than 30 people. Also profiled is Intelichem (Pty) Ltd, which received Competition Commission approval to acquire Meridian Agrochemical Company (Pty) Ltd and Synovatech (Pty) Ltd in July 2016.