Pesticide deaths in Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar holds union agriculture ministry responsible | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Pesticide deaths in Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar holds union agriculture ministry responsible

At least 50 farmers died of suspected pesticide poisoning in Vidarbha since August this year

mumbai Updated: Oct 24, 2017 00:36 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pawar said in 10 years of his stint as Union agriculture minister, no one was allowed to use harmful pesticides
Pawar said in 10 years of his stint as Union agriculture minister, no one was allowed to use harmful pesticides(HT)

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday blamed the Union agriculture ministry for its “casual” approach towards the sale of lethal pesticides in the market that led to deaths of at least 50 farmers in Vidarbha region.

“We have stringent laws to prevent harmful pesticides being supplied to the farmers. In Delhi, an independent agency certifies pesticides. Even if harmful pesticides are supplied to the farmers then the Union agriculture ministry is certainly responsible for that,” Pawar tweeted on Monday.

Pawar said in 10 years of his stint as Union agriculture minister, no one was allowed to use harmful pesticides and strictest action was taken against those found guilty. Pawar was at an all-party felicitation programme at Amravati to mark his 76th birthday and his contribution as a Parliamentarian for 50 years.

At least 50 farmers died of suspected pesticide poisoning in Vidarbha since August this year and most deaths were reported from Yavatmal, a major cotton-growing district that has often been in the news for farmer suicides. According to Pawar, it was a very unfortunate thing because there is a law on the use of pesticides and an independent institute to oversee it. Besides, pesticides cannot be used without the consent of this institute, he said. The Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) that comes under the Union agriculture ministry certifies all the pesticides in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Pawar said farmers should not oppose the Nagpur-Mumbai Express Highway. Instead of opposing it, they should try to get more compensation from the government.