25 April 1997

Chemical costs to fall?

DESPITE the high cost of developing crop protection products, farmers could be paying less for agrochemicals in the future.

Continued rationalisation in the spray sector will bring lower prices and improved products, said Novartis head of crop protection, Wolfgang Samo.

"Market forces will reduce the cost of new products because it will be necessary to apply less active ingredient and there will be less packaging. Competition between agrochemical companies will force prices down, too," said Dr Samo.

Speaking at his companys first press conference since it was formed from the integration of Ciba and Sandoz, he said the merger will let the new firm compete more effectively in the highly competitive agrochemical business. &#42

Stephen Howe