″It has been the endeavour of Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) an apex Association of Indian agrochemical manufacturers to collate authentic data on various issues faced by the agrochemical fraternity. Agrochemical is a major agri-input to minimise crop losses both in the farmers field and during storage. This is an ongoing effort to report to the media, government, bureaucrats, scientific fraternity, trade, farming community and households to assure them on quality of Indian pesticides available all across the country″ stated Mr. Harish Mehta, senior advisor, CCFI while releasing the findings.
RTI FIGURES COLLATED
The association has through RTI’s been able to collect and analyse data from 23 agriculturally important & high consumption states. Over the last 4 years total no. of 2,51,728 samples were drawn for quality testing out of which only 5,890 samples did not meet specification /found substandard.
As per the Insecticides Act 1968, for monitoring of quality of pesticides, 191 Insecticide Inspectors have been notified by the Central Government besides 10,303 Inspectors at State level. Samples are collected by these Insecticides Inspectors and tested in 70 State Pesticide Testing Laboratories and 2 Regional Pesticide Testing Laboratories.
It is worth noting that the agricultural Inspectors draw samples of large, medium & small companies of leading as well minor brands. It is also been observed that in several cases, on retesting the percentage of samples meeting specifications improves further.
Earlier in response to unstarred question no. 309 answered on 15th September, 2020 by Hon'ble Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha stated that during the last 5 years 3,38,182 samples were analyzed , 3971 prosecutions have been launched against firms and dealers whose samples were found sub- standard. This figure works out to be 1.174% as samples found sub-standard.
In another unstarred question no. 4534 answered on 23rd March, 2021 Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha stated that in State Government of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, no cases of sale of spurious pesticides have been reported in these states during the years 2014 to 2020.
For the benefit of readers, the word ‘spurious’ does not figure in the Insecticides Act 1968. The only term used is ″misbranded″ in Sec 3(A).
COMPREHENSIVE REGISTRATION OF PESTICIDES (CROP)
Under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage have developed an advance IT solution Technical Platform ‘Comprehensive Registration of Pesticides’ (CROP) with the objective to improve the service delivery with real time, user friendly IT Solution without any manual intervention. The purpose is to integrate with all the stakeholders in the system for efficiency and develop Dashboard at various levels of hierarchies, so as to generate MIS reports based on the day to day requirement of the Ministry, Department, CIB&RC, and other stakeholders of the system. This would ensure that only legitimate registered companies/ registered users operate in the country.
Though the dashboard shows 9113 Registered Users as on 16th March 2023, the figures would drop drastically after the registrants/ applicants supposedly complete their KYC on CROP portal by 31st January 2023, failing which the user accounts of those non KYC companies/ users shall be frozen.
This is a continuous process to delist illegal operators and to ensure quality parameters of legitimate manufacturers. As per the information received from 21 State Government and 2 UTs, there are 2403 pesticides manufacturing units in the country. (Source: Lok Sabha unstarred question no. 309 answered on 15th September, 2020).
″We should take pride in the quality of pesticides manufactured indigenously which are exported to over 130 countries meeting stringent quality specifications. These figures reinforce the factual position, demolishing false propaganda and misinformation spread by foreign funded NGOs with vested interests and importing lobby to malign the indigenous manufactures who are committed towards ″Atmanirbhar Bharat″ through Make in India″ reiterated Mr. Mehta.