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10 Myths about Pesticides Use in Indiaqrcode

Apr. 11, 2022

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Apr. 11, 2022

Indian agrochemical industry has been serving the farming community over decades with quality generic pesticides for all crops of economic importance, reducing crop losses and in turn increasing their income.

Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) as an apex organisation of leading 50 Indian manufacturers has ensured augmenting not only domestic demand but play a major role in exports. Our members have huge investments in India generate employment and export to over 130 countries. They have the technical capability and capacity to meet demand during any National pandemic like locust attacks, PBW on cotton to name a few. Pesticides produced by Indian companies not only match global standards but are cost effective with better efficacy in the field.

However the industry has been plagued by vested interests and importers to malign the contribution made by Indian manufacturers on certain frivolous issues thereby trying to create misinformation among the government, farming community & trade.

CCFI had summarized some of the myths to demystify this for our readers, government, general public and users of pesticides.

Myth - Indian farmers use excessive Pesticides.
Reality - India ranks 2nd in the world in agriculture production only after China but it ranks 12th in pesticide use.
Most other countries including USA and those in the EU such as France, Spain, Italy, Germany etc. use more pesticides then India on per unit area and per unit of output basis (source FAOSTAT)
“Indian farmers use excessive pesticides” is a false propaganda by some vested interests aimed at reducing market success to our agriculture products globally.

Myth - Agriculture commodities in India carry high level pesticides residues.
Reality - Annual studies under All India Network Project on Pesticide Residue show that on average only about 2.2% of the agri commodities show pesticide residues above Maximum Residual Limit (MRL). In other words, 98% of our agri commodities do not carry unacceptable levels of pesticide residue. This compare well with the data from other countries. MRLs are legally imposed commercial standards and not safety standards.

Myth - Pesticides use has led to high cancer rates in states like Punjab.
Reality - Globally India ranks 172nd in cancer rates. Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, USA and Denmark are the top 5 that leads in cancer rates. (Source WHO)
The largest incidence of cancer in India are in the states like Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim etc that hardly use pesticides in agriculture. Punjab ranks 24th among various states in each standardized cancer rates in India. (Source ICMR)
Singapore with nil area under agriculture has more cancer rates than India.

Myth - Accidental exposure to pesticides spray drift kills farmers.
Reality - Pesticides are sprayed diluted with water. The water content would be as high as 99% in the pesticides spray when applied to the crops. Accidental short exposures to such pesticides spray drift would not deliver lethal dose to the body of the sprayman.
Of course, it is always recommended that such exposures are avoided.

Myth - Indian market is full of spurious pesticide.
Reality - A misconception damaging the image of the Indian agrochemical industry. In fact on analysing 338182 samples drawn during last 5 years by Govt only 1.17% were found to be not meeting specifications or substandard. There were hardly any spurious samples as propagated by importing lobby.

Myth - India’s water system, remains highly polluted with pesticides.
Reality - Fish species are highly sensitive to water quality and toxic pollutants.
India ranks the third largest in Inland fish production. This shows that our water systems remains conducive to production of fish.

Myth - Pesticides are the primary means to commit suicide.
Reality - Self hanging is the most common method for suicide in India. Sikkim that does not allow use of pesticide has suicide rates four times then in Punjab. (Source NCRB)
93% of the suicides in the India are by non- farmers i.e, by people not engaged in agriculture.

Myth - India uses pesticides that are banned in other countries.
Reality - Use of pesticides in every country depends on local crops, environment and occurrence of pests and diseases.
Pesticides registration/ use therefore varies from one country to another.
The number of registered pesticide in India is 290 as against over 400 in EU.

Myth - Organic and bio- pesticides are safer than chemical pesticides.
Reality - All substance used as pesticides whether organic, bio or synthetic undergo the same toxicity, safety and efficacy assessments before allowed for commercial introduction.
Crop protection industry in fact offers a variety of pesticides products- organic, bio and synthetic- to farmers enabling a diverse and inclusive approach to pest control.

Myth - Indian manufacturers are not able to manufacture Quality meeting global standards.
Reality - Indian manufacturers produce quality which is in fact superior than imported products in terms of purity profile and efficacy. Our members account for 85% of exports to 130 countries with acceptable quality. The price is also not only competitive but lower by 50-75 % once produced indigenously However, unethical practices are used in India to see that even after an expiry of the patent, MNCs keep their monopoly and Indian manufacturers are denied registration on some dubious grounds. There are now heavy investment in R&D by Indian companies with world class Researchers centers.

Source: CCFI


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