CropLife India, an industry body for agro chemical firms, on Thursday opposed a draft proposal to ban 27 pesticides that have a 15 per cent market share, saying it will hurt the farmers' interests.
The association said that it was "surprised" by the draft gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and termed it "major setback".
These pesticides continue to be used for mitigation or control of pests and diseases of a wide range of crops in India and in several other countries.
"Farmer woes will increase during the approaching kharif season and at a time when locust attack is looming over the border areas of Punjab and Rajasthan," it said in a statement.
These products were duly registered in the country after scientific evaluation for their safety and efficacy.
Asitava Sen, chief executive officer of CropLife India, said, "CropLife India, as a leading industry association of crop science companies, will submit our refutation to the concerned ministry on the draft order."
"The order has certain factual errors, inconsistencies and incomplete claims; as per the data submitted by our member companies and other original registrants for some of these molecules. We emphasise that the process of review should be science-based and consultative," he said.
As per a third-party study, the proposed molecules together constitute about 18-20 per cent of the Indian market.
"Sudden ban of 27 molecules generate negative sentiments for investments," he said.
"We hope the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare will take a holistic view and not pursue the draft ban order at this challenging time, keeping in mind the best interest and welfare of Indian agriculture and farmers," Sen said.
CropLife India is an association of 15 research and development-driven member companies in crop protection.