The state agriculture department has started a special campaign to check the quality of agricultural inputs being supplied to farmers for the kharif season by companies through distributors and dealers.
Special teams at the state and district level are out to check supply of substandard fertilisers and insecticides/pesticides to farmers. The campaign, which started in June, also aims to check supply of unauthorised micro-nutrients and bio-fertilisers.
In Amritsar district, of the 77 samples of fertilisers collected from distributors and dealers, three were found to be substandard. Of the 72 samples of pesticides taken, two failed the quality tests.
"We are taking the requisite legal action under the Fertiliser Control Order, 1985, for failed fertiliser samples and under the Insecticide Act, 1966, (Rules 1971) for pesticide samples, which failed the quality test. The action will be taken against the manufacturing companies and distributors/dealers," said Amritsar chief agriculture officer (CAO) Dilbagh Singh Dhanju while talking to HT in Amritsar on Saturday.
While the raiding and checking teams at the state-level are headed by an agriculture department officer of the rank of joint director, the district teams are headed by the CAOs and comprise of ADOs (agriculture development officers) besides other field staff.
"Any company, which is not registered by the state government cannot sell its products. In case a farmer suspects that the quality of fertiliser or pesticide that he has used in his fields is not up to the mark, he can approach the ADO at the block-level and can even report the matter to the district headquarters," said Dhanju.
During the campaign, the special teams came across farmers, who were allowed to lift fertiliser by the dealer only after they had purchased the pesticide of a particular company from the same dealer.
"We have warned that action will be taken if a dealer or a distributor tried to link sale of fertilisers with that of pesticides," the CAO said.
Before the start of the kharif season and even now, the agriculture department held special camps to educate farmers about the quality control. They were also given tips on the judicious use of fertilisers and not to use non-recommended insecticides like nitro benzene, which is also harmful to human health.