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Banning 27 Pesticides Will Hurt Farmers’ Income & Export says PMFAI

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

“All the 27 molecules have been registered in India by regulatory authority CIB&RC, meeting all scientific evaluations for safety and efficacy, backed up by scientific data. These generic pesticides are used in India since 1970 without any risk or adverse impact to humans, animals and environment, and includes Malathion that was extensively used by the government during the recent locust attack. The review process of Dr. Anupam Varma Committee was arbitrary – the committee, formed in July 2013, was initially mandated to examine continued use of three neon icotinoids but within a month, the mandate was expanded to 66 generic insecticides that are banned, restricted or withdrawn in some other countries, but are used in India. This disregards FAO’s advice that climate, crop grown, pests and diseases must guide the choice of pesticides for every country. In its final report, submitted to the Government of India in December 2015, the committee recommended a ban on 18 pesticides and suggested review of 27 generic insecticides after completion of studies. We conducted recommended studies suggested by the Registration Committee and submitted the report in 2019, explicitly stating that we are ready to conduct further studies, if directed. However, on 14th May 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare issued a draft ban on these 27 pesticides,” says Mr. Pradip Dave – President PMFAI and Chairman Aimco Pesticides Ltd. 

The PMFAI noted that implementing the ban will increase the input cost of farmers and force India to stop supplying to the global market, now catered to along with China. It will also break the backbone of Indian generic pesticide industry, including several MSMEs. 

 

“The pesticides under the ambit of the proposed ban produce more than 130 formulations used by the farmers for crop protection. This ban will increase farm input cost of farmers who are affected by lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 and locust, apart from various other threats to their crops. These pesticides account for 40 per cent of the domestic market and the alternative available to the farmers will be branded, readymade and expensive ones produced by the MNCs. The generic pesticide formulations, proposed to be banned, cost between INR 350 to INR 450 per litre, which is economic and affordable to most of the farmers. If the ban is imposed, the alternatives imported will cost in the range of INR 1,200 to INR 2,000 per litre. Imposing the ban will be a double whammy for the agriculture sector and can significantly burden the efforts to double farmer’s income by 2022. At the same time, the ban will shrink India’s export capability by more than 50 per cent and hand over a market worth INR 12,000 crore to our Chinese competitors – it will defeat the very purpose of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’,” says Dr. K N Singh - Vice President Registration, Gharda Chemicals Ltd. 

 

Krishi Jagran was also invited to take part in the deliberation in the webinar organized specially for the purpose. There were prominent journalists, who attended the virtual conference organized by the PMFAI. 

PMFAI also expressed concern over the adverse impact of the ban on farmers battling locust and lockdown in the Kharif season and said such a move will bring the Indian domestic and export markets to their knees and strengthen Chinese competition. 

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