Several pesticides which are either banned or supposed be used only for particular types of crops are being sold in the open market with impunity here.
Such pesticides include captafol, aluminum phosphide, methyl parathion and monocrotophos among others. In a survey, it was found that one can easily purchase these pesticides without any prescription. There is no laboratory in the city for checking pesticide residue in crops.
Most of the farmers are not aware of the technicalities of pesticide use and follow whatever told by the dealers, ho themselves are not very familiar with the recommendations of the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee.
In a recent study by the Centre for Science and Technology, New Delhi, in 2013, it was found that the theoretical maximum daily intake ( the intake of chemical per human per day) for phorate, methyl parathion, monocrotophos, dichlorvos, dimethoate and carbofuran was much higher than the acceptable intake for both adults and children.
Chief agriculture officer Dr Sutantar Kumar Aeri said, “We have not received any complaint about the sale of banned pesticides in the city. A pesticide residual lab will be started soon.”
“We regularly collect samples. As many as 225 samples were collected by our teams last year. These samples are then sent to other cities for checking. We also organise two-day training camps for farmers in which we educate them to use various pesticides for different crops with a proper set of dos and don’ts. Still some use wrong pesticides for increasing the output.”
Agriculture development officer (Jalandhar west block) Dr Surjit Singh said, “There is no such separate body for checking the amount of pesticide residue in the state. We can help farmers to use the right pesticides. But for that they have to approach us, which they usually avoid to save time and effort.”
“Heavy dose of chemicals affects human health and environment, as the traces of these harmful substances remain in the system over a long period. The use of banned chemicals is the main reason that the state is becoming a hub of cancer and other ailments,” Umender Dutt, director, Kheti Virasat Mission, said.