India Rajasthan:Only agriculture diploma holders to sell pesticides after August 2018
Oct. 9, 2017
Even existing dealers, barring those who deal only in fertilizers and seeds, will have to acquire a one-year diploma in agricultural extension services for input dealers.
The Union ministry of agriculture, cooperation and farmers’ welfare issued a gazette notification early this year to implement the course.
Prior to notification, Rajasthan was probably the first state in northern India to start diploma course. The license of non-eligible dealers will be cancelled after August 2018.
There are 14,688 pesticide and 11,300 fertilizer dealers in the state.
Director state institute of agriculture management Sheetal Sharma said, “We started the diploma course last year, under which nine batches each with 40 dealers participated. Most of the batches have completed the course and the rest will complete it soon.”
The diploma courses--40 weeks of classroom and eight weeks of field study-- are run on weekends, he said.
Out of the course fee of ₹20,000, a registered dealer has to deposit ₹10,000 and rest is borne by the state government and the minimum criteria to qualify for course is a Class 10 pass certificate.
“It is a big concern in Rajasthan as farmers use two or three times more urea in fields than required without consulting the dealers,” said Sharma.
“Through the courses we are trying to develop a group of para-extension workers other than our departmental supervisors.”
On the response from dealers, he said, “Most of the dealers are farmers and knowing new and correct usage of insecticides and pesticides will be an added advantage.”
Under the course, dealers are taught how to convince farmers to use a new pesticide or insecticide, the quantity to be used and sowing methods to be followed among others, he said.
Sharma further said that there will be 26 batches in the current session, which will be increased to 60 next year.
The diploma course will be run by the state cooperative department, Krishi Vigyan Kendra and agriculture universities.
In July, the director general of the National Institute of Agriculture Extension Management had come to oversee the course and appreciate the work done by state institute of agriculture management, he said.
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