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ICAR: Crop losses rising as nearly 40% of pesticides spuriousqrcode

Jun. 2, 2011

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Jun. 2, 2011

ICAR: Crop losses rising as nearly 40% of pesticides spurious

The rising sale of spurious pesticides in the country is resulting in crop damage, top agricultural scientists said on Wednesday. S Ayyappan, director general, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), said around 40% of pesticides used in the country is spurious.

"Research and development needs to be given a boost in this field (pesticides) and for this the main participation should come from the private sector, and a science-led, technology-based agriculture is the need of the hour,” Ayyappan said at a seminar titled ‘Strategic pesticides use to enhance agricultural production and food security under public-private partnership’,jointly organised by ICAR and Dhanuka Agritech, a producer of crop protection chemicals.

India produces about 80,000 tonne of pesticides annually and the total market for pesticides in the country is estimated to be around R7,000 crore.

According to an estimate, the spurious pesticides market is estimated to be around R 3,000 crore and its adverse impact of crops is yet to be ascertained by the government agencies.

"Agro-chemicals have played a pivotal role in the past in increasing agricultural productivity and production and protecting and preserving human and animal food, feed and health.

The pesticides have become a topic of public debate, primarily due to their non-judicious and unscientific use,” Ayyappan said.

On the other hand, Indian agriculture uses far lower amounts of insecticides when compared with global standards.

RG Agarwal, chairman, Dhanuka Group, said that the country uses around 280 grams per hectare of pesticide, which when compared with Japan’s usage of 11 kg per hectare is minimal. “In India, only 25-30% of the farmers are aware of the use of pesticides,” he said.

Avoidable crop losses due to pests in different crops vary depending upon the crop and pest infestation, he said.

Agarwal said it is possible to save foodgrains worth R2.5 lakh crore annually through the judicious use of pesticides.

It is estimated that around 20-30% foodgrain production worth R2.5 lakh crore is lost to insects, pests, diseases and weeds every year.

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