Agriculture extension officers have been asked to issue slips to farmers to buy pesticides based on their requirements. The agriculture department has also decided to aware farmers about the ill-effects of chemical pesticides and discourage their use. Henceforth, dealers will sell pesticides and fertilizers to farmers only upon producing ‘prescription slips’ on the lines of doctor’s prescription demanded by medical shops to buy drugs.
According to Mohan Reddy, Deputy Director, Agriculture, “There are 8,513 dealers of fertilizers and pesticides in Telangana. While 7,878 shops are in the private sector, 635 shops are being run by cooperatives. All of them have been told not to sell pesticides to the farmers without verifying slips.” Deputy Director further informed that 4,943 MTs of pesticides were consumed in both kharif and rabi seasons. Of the total consumption, chemical pesticides accounted for 4,866 MTs and 77 MTs for bio-pesticides, the in 2017-18.
Agriculture Commissioner M Jagan Mohan further added that all the extension officers have been asked to give prescription slips to farmers for buying pesticides. Dealers have been instructed to strictly implement the orders. “All the agriculture officers will also be trained,” the commissioner said.
Official statistics say a whopping 37 lakh hectares of the total 40 lakh hectares farmland is under the influence of both chemical and biopesticides. The agriculture land alone consumes 5,000 metric tonnes (MTs) of pesticides. Of the 37 lakh hectares under pesticide usage, chemical pesticides are used in 31 lakh hectares and bio-pesticides in the remaining land.
“While the highest consumption is for cereals (2,000 MTs), vegetables and fruits (1,000 MTs) are not too far behind. Farmers use 700 MTs a year for commercial crops such as cotton. The remaining pesticide is consumed on oilseeds, pulses,” a senior agriculture official said.
Krishi Jagran/New Delhi