1. Agriculture World

Andhra Pradesh Reports Drastic Fall in Pesticide Consumption

This is the first time in recent history that the AP has reported a decrease in pesticide use. Farmers with cash-rich commercial crops such as chili, tobacco, and cotton rely on spraying large amounts of pesticides in AP, making it one of the country's largest pesticide users.

Binita Kumari
In what could be a significant development, AP has reported a dramatic fall in pesticide consumption during 2020-21. This is the first time in recent history that the AP has reported a decrease in pesticide use. Farmers with cash-rich commercial crops such as chili, tobacco, and cotton rely on spraying large amounts of pesticides in AP, making it one of the country's largest pesticide users.
In what could be a significant development, AP has reported a dramatic fall in pesticide consumption during 2020-21. This is the first time in recent history that the AP has reported a decrease in pesticide use. Farmers with cash-rich commercial crops such as chili, tobacco, and cotton rely on spraying large amounts of pesticides in AP, making it one of the country's largest pesticide users.

In what could be a significant development, AP has reported a dramatic fall in pesticide consumption during 2020-21. This is the first time in recent history that the AP has reported a decrease in pesticide use.

Farmers with cash-rich commercial crops such as chili, tobacco, and cotton rely on spraying large amounts of pesticides in AP, making it one of the country's largest pesticide users.

Surprisingly, the usage of pesticides by AP has decreased by 23% from 2016-to 17. This is the country's highest drop reported by any state. Pesticide consumption increased at a 7% annual rate across the country. Experts said they'll need more time to see if the 2020-21 phenomenon will continue for the foreseeable future.

"It is undeniably a sign. If farmers continue to use low or strictly adhere to the approved quantities of pesticides, it will be much more newsworthy.' Padma awardee and innovative farmer Dr. Yadlapalli Vankateshwara Rao stated. AP's overall chemical pesticide use has decreased to 1,559 metric tonnes from 2,015 metric tonnes in 2016-17, according to a recent study report provided by the Union Ministry of Agriculture.

This is over 456 metric tonnes fewer than the amount used five years ago. The country's total chemical pesticide use increased by over 4,000 metric tonnes to 62,000 metric tonnes from 58,000 metric tonnes previously.

Telangana, a neighboring state, has recorded a sharp increase in pesticide consumption, with total sales reaching nearly 5,000 metric tonnes, up from 3,400 metric tonnes previously. "The state government's long-term push to encourage farmers to embrace Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) is delivering impressive results. Although we are raising awareness about the benefits of transitioning to organic farming practices, our immediate focus will be on minimizing the usage of large amounts of pesticides "MVS Nagireddy, vice-chairman of the AP Agriculture Mission, said.

Farmers would get higher prices for commercial crops with less pesticide use, he claimed, because exporters are willing to pay a high price. Foodgrains are grown without pesticides, on the other hand, pay large benefits to farmers, according to Nagireddy. Surprisingly, the area under organic cultivation has increased from 20,000 acres in 2016-17 to 7 lakh acres in 2020-21. Increased prices of chemical pesticides, according to experts, may have also played a part in reducing use.

"In the previous five years, the cost of chili cultivation has risen from 60-80 thousand per acre to 2 lakhs. Chemical pesticide prices are a major contribution to rising costs. As a result, producers were forced to choose between reducing pesticide use or turning to local counterfeit brands that were not included in government calculations "explained a professional.

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