State releases draft of policy for sale of recommended and registered pesticides

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Jan 2018 09:17:56


Staff Reporter,

Maharashtra Government is in the process of putting in place a policy for sale of only recommended and registered pesticides in the State. Agriculture Department has released a draft of the said policy and has invited responses from citizens.

In October 2017, the spurt in deaths of farmers/farm labourers due to inhalation of pesticides in Yavatmal and other districts of Vidarbha had triggered a massive public debate over safety of pesticides. Following, this, the Government had initiated action against some companies too. However, the companies had come up with a plea that pesticides were safe. Some activists had alleged that un-recommended and un-registered pesticides also were being sold to innocent farmers. Against this backdrop, the activists highlighted the need to have in place a policy for sale of recommended and registered pesticides only.

Experts in agriculture sector and the State Government undertook the study of deaths of farmers and farm laborers caused due to pesticides spraying. The study revealed that the sale and use of not recommended pesticides, sale of high intensity pesticides other than recommended ones for crops and pests, and also not registered pesticides were sold and used.

Now, the Government has come up with a draft of such a policy. The policy is being prepared for sale of registered and recommended pesticides as per cropping systems at district and division levels. Agriculture Department has urged the farmers to use only registered pesticides for particular crops. It has appealed to the sellers also to take care not to sell unregistered and not recommended pesticides for crops.

Agriculture Department has invited responses in writing from citizens. Such recommendations and responses should reach Chief Quality Control Officer, Directorate of Agriculture, Maharashtra State, Central Building, Pune-411001 or may be sent to [email protected] using online mode, the department informed. Pesticide permits are given for production, storage, exhibition and sales of pesticides under the provisions of Pesticides Act, 1968 and Pesticides Rules, 1971. Permission is granted for production, storage, exhibition, and sale of only the pesticides cleared at the national level by Central Pesticides Board and Registration Committee, Faridabad. The Board also recommends the intensity of a particular pesticide for elimination of weeds on a particular crop.