The state agriculture department has started a special campaign to educate the farmers on the correct use of pesticides and insecticides in their crops and avoid over-use at all costs.
The move comes after several reports have highlighted that indiscriminate and excessive use of insecticides by farmers has led to presence of pesticide residue in grains, leading to health problems for the population.
Officials of the department have warned against the trend and this are making efforts to educate farmers not to overuse pesticides, warning them that without such steps, the soil itself will be rendered useless and Punjab will be unable to grow anything.
"We have now developed non-chemical methods also to protect our crops. These methods help in reduced use of pesticides," say an official.
The department has also warned officials manufacturers of insecticides and pesticides to refrain from pushing their products by misguiding the farmer. They have also been asked to sell only those products that have been recommended by the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) or the state agriculture department.
I connection with this intitiative of the state government, agriculture development officer (ADO), Dr Jaswinder Singh Brar, visited Rauke Kalan village of district Moga on Sunday and taught farmers the judicious use of pesticides.
"Insecticides and pesticides should be used when absolutely necessary. They are useful only when they are needed, otherwise they end up harming the soil," said experts.
"Pesticides and herbicides are very dangerous when the directions for their use are not followed with precision. Carefully read product labels, which contain information about the persistence and toxicity of the chemical. Always choose a 'pest-specific' pesticide or herbicide that is designed to kill only the pest causing the damage," ADO added.
He also advised the farmers to keep the original containers and mark the date of purchase on each container so that the older one is used first. "At the time of purchase, farmer should take an authenticated bill having name of insecticides, name of manufacturing company, batch number, manufacturing date as well as the expiry date on it."