September 25, 2022

Great Indian Mutiny

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A new report numbers the huge growth of the bioeconomy in India

A recent report by the Biotech Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) estimates that the value of products produced under the bioeconomy paradigm in India will reach $150 billion by 2025 and over $300 billion by 2030.

Based on data on the biotech sector’s contribution to the economy, the India Bioeconomy Report 2022 projects the country’s bioeconomy to reach USD 80 billion in 2021, registering a growth of 14.1 percent over USD 70.2 billion in 2020.

According to the report, a total of 1,128 biotech startups were created in the country by 2021, giving an average of at least three new biotech companies every day, and the industry surpassed one billion dollars in investment in research and development. He added that the figure “has tripled in one year from US$320 million to US$1.02 billion in 2020”.

On the vaccine front, India dispensed nearly 4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine per day (a total of 1.45 billion doses administered in 2021), the report said, adding that the country conducted 1.3 million Covid tests every day in 2021. (Total 506.7 million tests).

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Launching the report, the country’s Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said the number of biotech startups in the country has increased from 50 to 5,300 in the last 10 years due to the growing ecosystem. And priority given to the sector by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The executive said he expects biotech startups to more than double to more than 10,000 by 2025, emerging from a strong talent pool.

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He also informed that a strong network of 74 specialized bioincubation centers has been established in 21 states including 7 bioincubators in North Eastern region.

Singh said India is among the top three countries in South Asia, among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and accounts for about 3 percent of the global biotech sector.

Additionally, India has the second largest number of USFDA-approved manufacturing plants outside the United States. The minister said that the biotechnology sector has the potential to have a multifold impact on the overall economic development of the country.

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America's major agribusiness associations came together to form a coalition to support the agricultural bioeconomy.

Rajesh Gokhale, secretary of DBT, said that in case of sustainable biofuels, the target year for 20 per cent ethanol blending has been brought from 2025 to 2023 and this biotechnology sub-sector has shown double growth.

Ethanol production has doubled to 6.5 billion liters by 2021 from a capacity of 3.3 billion litres. With further growth, India will save on its import costs, which will directly affect the foreign exchange balance and import-export imbalance. economy in 2030, according to the report.

The agriculture sector, which employs nearly 60 percent of India’s population, has ample room for improvement. BT cotton, biopesticides, biocatalysts and biofertilizers have contributed about USD 10.48 billion to the country’s bioeconomy by 2021, the report said.