The Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage under the Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare states on its portal that “Indiscriminate and injudicious use of chemical pesticides in agriculture has resulted in several associated adverse effects such as environmental pollution, ecological imbalances, pesticides residues in food, fruits and vegetables, fodder, soil and water, pest resurgence, human and animal health hazards, destruction of bio-control agents, development of resistance in pests etc.”
According to the Ministry, some of the major Insect Pest problem encountered in 2020-21 include Fusarium wilt infestation of Gram cropin Karnataka, Fall Army Worm infestation of Maize fields in Karnataka and Rajasthan, Rugose Spiralling white fly infestation of Coconut plants in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and Neotropical whitefly infestation Coconut plants in Karnataka.
18 Pesticides Banned
The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare notified Pesticides (Prohibition) Order, 2018 on August 9, 2018 banning the use of 18 highly hazardous pesticides in the country. Out of the total 18, 11 pesticides are banned with immediate effect and six faced prohibition from December, 2020.
Banned Pesticides: Benomyl, Carbaryl, Diazinon, Fenarimol, Fenthion, Linuron, Methoxy Ethyl Mercury Chloride, Methyl Parathion, Sodium Cyanide, Thiometon, Tridemorph, Trifluralin
Ban from 31st December 2020: Alachlor, Dichlorvos, Phorate, Phosphamidon, Triazophos, Trichlorfon
One pesticide Trifluralin, which is widely used as herbicide, is allowed only in wheat.
On 14 May, 2020, the agriculture ministry issued a draft order banning the manufacture and sale of the 27 pesticides “likely to involve risk to human beings and animals”. The Government has appointed an expert committee to look into this issue.
Monitoring of Pesticide Residues
The Monitoring of Pesticide Residues at National Level (MPRNL) scheme, initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare as a central sector scheme during 2005-06, regularly monitors pesticide residues in food commodities and environmental samples such as soil and water.
A ‘Grow Safe Food’ campaign has also been initiated by the ministry carrying the message of safe and judicious use of pesticides to farmers and other stakeholders. Package of practices for control of pests and diseases in several agricultural crops have been revised to include techniques to reduce dependence on chemical pesticides and encourage use of bio-pesticides and other alternative plant protection measures. Under Soil Health Management Scheme, financial assistance is provided to States for imparting training and demonstration to farmers on balanced use of fertilizers.
Pesticide Management Bill, 2020
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare introduced the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020 in the Rajya Sabha on March 23, 2020. Post its introduction in the Parliament, the Bill was referred to the Parliament Standing Committee on Agriculture for examination and the Committee made its recommendations to the Government.
The Bill seeks to regulate the manufacture, import, sale, storage, distribution, use, and disposal of pesticides, in order to ensure the availability of safe pesticides and minimise the risk to humans, animals, and environment. The Bill seeks to replace the Insecticides Act, 1968.
The Bill seeks to constitute the Central Pesticides Board to advise the central and state governments on scientific and technical matters arising under the Act. The Board will also frame model protocols to deal with poisoning cases due to pesticides.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
The Government of India has adopted Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as cardinal principle and main plank of plant protection in the overall Crop Production Programme since 1985. IPM is an eco-friendly approach which encompasses cultural, mechanical, biological and need based chemical control measures. The IPM approach is being disseminated through various schemes/ projects at national and state level.
- Maximize crop production with minimum input costs;
- Minimize environmental pollution in soil, water and air due to pesticides;
- Minimize occupational health hazards due to chemical pesticides;
- Preserve ecosystem and maintain ecological equilibrium;
- Judicious use of chemical pesticides for reducing pesticide residues,
- To improve farming systems.
- Notification S.O. 3951(E) issued by the Department of Agriculture, Co-Operation and Farmers Welfare, GoI, August 8, 2018
- The Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, GoI (http://ppqs.gov.in)