ICL announced that its joint venture operation in India, Zuari Rotem Specialty Fertilizers Ltd., has undertaken to initiate a search for suitable lands for the establishment of two additional soluble fertilizer manufacturing plants in northern and eastern India. The initiative follows the success of the joint venture’s first plant, the steadily growing demand throughout India for specialty fertilizers, and the Company’s desire to capitalize on the economic advantages of manufacturing within its target markets.
ICL’s Indian partner, Zuari Industries Ltd., is a major Indian producer and distributor of fertilizers and agricultural products.
Since March 2010, Zuari Rotem Specialty Fertilizers has been operating a 32,000 metric ton soluble fertilizer production facility in the state of Maharashtra in India. The Poorna 19 fertilizer produced in this factory is sold by Zuari Industries, which has decades of experience in the Indian agricultural market and the ability to customize solutions to meet the needs of local crops and soil conditions.
The Indian markets’ demand for soluble fertilizers has been growing continuously over the past several years, reflecting the region’s growing adoption of advanced fertigation techniques (the combination of fertilization and irrigation, such as through drip irrigation systems) and foliar fertilization. The joint venture’s two new plants will be constructed in India’s eastern and northern regions with the goal of being closer and more responsive to local customers.
Commenting on the news, Mr. Yossi Zidon, CEO of ICL Specialty Fertilizers, said, “Our decision to expand the scope of our joint venture with Zuari Industries is an important forward step in line with our strategy for broadening ICL’s activities in the specialty fertilizers sector, a market which we have identified as having the potential for strong growth. We believe the combination of ICL’s industry-leading soluble, liquid, slow-release and control release fertilizers with the new plant’s superb customization, distribution and service capabilities will enable us to meet the exact needs of each grower in the various regions of India, thereby gaining a marked competitive edge. We are proud to play a central role in the development of the fast-growing specialty fertilizer segment, especially in markets in which exponential population growth is driving accelerated agricultural development, such as India.”