Quality testing on: Capt Amarinder govt clamps down on sale of spurious pesticides
Licence of one of state’s largest suppliers cancelled after 17 of 19 samples of its products fail lab test; four flying squads formed to check sale of spurious pesticide.punjab Updated: Jul 31, 2017 09:12 IST
Two years after a scam relating to supply of spurious pesticides to cotton farmers rocked the state and led to a spate of farmer suicides, the Punjab agriculture department is taking no chances this time. After 17 of 19 pesticides samples of KPR Agrochem Ltd, a Hyderabad-based pesticide manufacturer, failed the department’s quality tests, the state government has cancelled the company’s licence.
The company — one of the largest suppliers and sellers in the state — has also been banned from selling its products. The department has also sealed its godown in Ludhiana.
“In June, the department collected 10 samples from the godown KPR Agrochem. We collected another nine samples of the company’s product from retail shops. Of the 19 samples, 17 samples failed the test,” said Sukhdev Singh, joint director (plant protection), with the state’s agriculture department. The samples were sent to labs in Bathinda, Ludhiana and Amritsar.
Singh added another Haryana-based firm Agricare Chemical Industries was on the radar of the department. “The department collected five samples from the company’s godown in Fazilka on July 20, of which four failed the test. He added that more samples of pesticides of the company’s products had been taken and the department would take action once it got the reports.”
The department has so far collected 1,250 samples of which 78 had failed quality tests. There are 10,500 sellers of pesticides in the state, Singh said, denying apprehensions that failure of samples and the subsequent banning of sale of products of companies could lead to a shortage of pesticide in the state.
100 samples collected in three days
The agriculture department has launched a drive to check supply of spurious pesticides in the market and collected more than 100 samples from cotton districts of the state in last three days. The department has formed four flying squads to collect samples from retail shops and godowns of companies supplying pesticides.
Agriculture director JS Bains said the department was working round the clock to ensure that spurious pesticides were not sold in the market.