Research and Development

CropLife International’s video “Research and Development in Plant Science” shows the complex, lengthy and resource intensive R&D process from finding the right chemical compound to extensive safety testing of the final product and beyond. The video gives an insight into the huge number of people and the enormous amount of time and resources necessary today to bring even a single product to the market.

To see the video click here.

To see the video in Spanish click here.

  • The leading companies represented by CropLife International spend considerable time, effort and funds on Research and Development (R&D) to produce new and improved crop protection products.
  • The aim of R&D programs is to develop new products, as well as improving the activity and safety of older products through improved formulation, packaging and delivery.
  • Crop protection is one of the most research-intensive industries globally.
  • R&D activity enables our industry to innovate, which creates jobs and contributes to economic growth while enabling even safer and more effective products to be launched.

The goal of the industry’s research and development programs is to improve the range and quality of its crop protection products. These advances include both the refinement of existing products and the development of new products and applications.

Over the last five years the value of R&D expenditure on conventional chemical crop protection products and seeds and traits by the 15 leading companies in the agrochemical sector has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% raising the level of R&D expenditure from $4,533 million in 2007 to a total of $6,728 million in 2012 (Phillips McDougall, April 2013).

All companies are working to create new products or reformulate older products so that they are biologically efficient, environmentally sound, user friendly and economically viable.

A new crop protection product takes ten years and approximately $250 million to develop (from discovery to first sales); on average around 25%, and as much as 40%, of the cost is on researching non-target (including mammalian) toxicology, environmental fate and impacts.

Further details of the plant science industry’s research and development programs for crop protection products can be found in a report available here . Also a brochure on Research & Development is available here.