India loses crops worth Rs 25,000 crore to spurious pesticides
Apr. 13, 2009
India is facing crop losses worth over Rs 25,000 crore a year due to the use of spurious pesticides and insecticides, a leading farmers' body claimed here on Monday, pegging the annual sales of such fake products at over Rs 1,500 crore.
Calling for a crackdown on the companies that sell such spurious items, Bhartiya Krishak Samaj President Krishan Bir Chaudhary told reporters that out of four widely-used products in northern India manufactured by at least 14 companies, as many as 11 companies failed to meet the parameters set by the government.
"Crops to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore are being lost due to spurious pesticides and insecticides that notch up annual sales of about Rs 1,500 crore," he said. About 30 per cent of the cane crops in the second-largest sugar producing state of Uttar Pradesh are lost due to such fake products, he added.
The farmers' body picked up random samples of such pesticides and insecticides from different places and sent them for tests to the Institute of Pesticide Formulation Technology, which has been accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
In the manufacturing of Phorate (10 per cent CG), which is widely used in sugarcane, paddy, wheat and potato crops, samples of 10 out of 11 companies failed to meet the required standard, Chaudhary claimed.
Similarly, the samples of five companies of Isoproturon (75 per cent WP), which is used against insects to protect paddy and wheat crops, are alleged to have failed in the test.
Samples of two out of four companies tested are claimed to have failed in complying with requirements for the manufacturing of 2,4-D Ethyl Ester (38 per cent EC), which is used in the paddy crop. Moreover, three companies are alleged to have bypassed norms as reflected in the samples of 2,4-D, Sodium Salt (80 per cent Tech), which is used in the paddy crop, Chaudhary said.
He said the government should clamp down on products of companies from time to time and cancel licences of erring firms while taking action against pesticide producers and inspectors who connive with the manufacturers.
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