Sep 7, 2018
Punjab’s renowned Basmati rice running year will witness a reduced dosage of pesticides and fungicides that often lead to rejection of export consignments on international platform. Worried by the constant impediments and obstruction in export of basmati rice from India, the Punjab government is approaching farmers through agricultural institutions, gurudwaras, public meetings and social media to discourage the use of Acephate, Cabandazim, Thiamethoxam, Tricyclazole and Triazophos—chemicals responsible with higher residue level in rice. Farmers have to be made aware of the harm done to human tissues by these pesticides.
“There will be significant decline in use of hazardous chemicals in rice this year that cause hurdles in exports,” K.S. Pannu, Commissioner Food and Drug Administration Punjab said.
“Any adverse effect on export of rice will have adverse effect on Rs. 50,000 crore businesses in India and hit hard economy of the state,” he said. He emphasized that a comprehensive awareness campaign is already underway by joining hand with pesticide dealers, commission agents, farmers and rice industry. Dealers meetings are being held at district level as well as block level to put off these chemicals from selling.
“Posters are informing dealers markets across rice growing districts to aware farmers of harm caused by these chemicals,” an official of Punjab agriculture department said.
Aware of the danger, Punjab Agriculture University has already recommended alternatives to the five pesticides and fungicides. This season, Punjab, is expected to harvest a record output of rice.
As per a recent study of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), nearly 400 rejections have been recorded of rice exports from India owing to presence of higher ratio of pesticides residue more than approved level.
In process of cultivating paddy, much of the pesticide and chemical is used during September and October. “But banning these chemicals is beyond the purview of state government as they are registered with the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee, ” Pannu said.
A nodal officer has been appointed to function in each district to monitor the awareness campaign. For maximum awareness, rice exporters and millers have also recruited people to push the drive in rural areas so that more and more farmers are educated on this issue.