Agriculture Department asks farmers not to use insecticides banned in Europe
The state government has launched a campaign in all districts, asking farmers not to use excessive pesticides in cultivation of basmati, the total area of which is likely to touch 5 lakh hectares across the state.
Agriculture Department Special Secretary Kahan Singh Pannu has also issued an advisory to the farmers, asking them not to use five types of pesticides, insecticides and fungicides, which are banned in European countries.
Farmers have been told not to use acephate, an organophosphate insecticide; carbendazim — a broad-spectrum benzimidazole fungicide and a metabolite of benomyl; thiamethoxam — a systemic insecticide in the class of neonicotinoids; triazofos — an organophosphate pesticide used in acaricides, insecticides and nematicides and the chemical formulations of tricyclazole, which leaves chemical traces of pesticides in custom-milled rice.
The government has also issued directions to the field staff of the Agriculture Department to reach out to the basmati growers and motivate them for judicious use of pesticides, so as to improve its quality for export.
So far, more than 300 such camps have been organised across the state and efforts are on to reach out to all growers.
Pannu has appealed to the farmers that if they feel the requirement of use of pesticides or insecticides they must contact field agriculture officials and use other substitutes of the said five chemical formulations as per the doses recommended by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana.
The Block Agriculture Officer of the Sehna block of Barnala district on Friday visited many villages in the area and interacted with the Basmati growers asking them not to use pesticides and insecticides.
Basmati exporters in Punjab had suffered huge losses this year as more than 32 containers were rejected by European nations, Saudi Arabia and other Middle-East countries after traces of pesticides were found in them.
European countries had found basmati rice imported from India with traces of cancer causing fungicide tricyclazole and pesticides mentioned above. Saudi Arabia also follows the quality norms of European countries.
The Saudi Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) recently decided to follow stringent norms for quality checks of Basmati coming from India. Some consignments of basmati had been rejected after testing positive for residues of pesticides.