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                                                    he recent deaths due to pesticide poisoning in cotton-growing  areas of Vidarbha
                                                    region in Maharashtra highlights two issues of serious concern. First, poor state
                                               Tof regulation for pesticide use in India, and secondly, lack of adequate quality
                                               check in the production and sale of seeds. In Vidarbha, more than 30 deaths of farm
                                               workers were reported and over 70 were hospitalized.
                                                  Studies show that India continues to use 93 pesticides that have been banned or
                                               severely restricted across the world. Of these pesticides, 18 have been classified by
                                               Word Health Organization for their acute toxicity.
                                                  The unfortunate deaths caused by pesticide poisoning is a sad reflection on the
                                               performance of the widely used genetically modified cotton seeds which are supposed
                                               to have in-built pest resistance. An independent study of poisoning cases in Yavatmal
         Chief editor                          in  Vidarbha  revealed  that  dangerous  mixtures  of  pesticides  were  used  to  control
         S. Jafar Naqvi
                                               various pests in Bt cotton.
         Consulting editors                       Available figures show that after commercial cultivation of Bt cotton started in India
         T.V. Satyanarayanan
                                               15 years ago, the total usage of insecticides in cotton fields  has more than doubled.
         Chief Co-ordinator                    Since 2006, when rapid expansion of the area under Bt cotton began, up to 2013, the
         M.B. Naqvi
                                               pesticide usage went up from 4600 tonnes to 11,500 tonnes. Farmers in Vidarbha were
         editorial Co-ordinator                liberal in spraying various pesticides both in Bt cotton fields as well as fields where
         Syed M K
                                               illegally sold seeds were being grown.
         layout & design                          That is another connected problem — the illegal sale unapproved cotton seeds.
         Faiyaz Ahmad
         Mohd. Iqbal                           The Maharashtra government has asked the Centre for a CBI investigation into five
                                               seed  companies  allegedly  selling  cotton  seeds  having  illegal  or  unapproved  genes
         Head Office                           in violation of Environment Protection Act.  Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra
         new delhi: : +91-11-29535593 /        Fadnavis tweeted that after the tragic incidents of pesticide poisoning in Yavatmal
         64519106 / 65655264                   district, a study was done by the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) and the
                                               report was submitted to the state government. An FIR was registered against the five
         Other Business Offices                companies in Nagpur.
         Mumbai: 9702903993                       Since it was found that such types of seeds were being produced in other states
                                               as well, the Maharashtra government thought it fit to request the Centre for a CBI
         Pune: 9881137397                      enquiry. As early as June, in Hyderabad police had arrested four persons for selling                   spurious cotton seeds. Punjab had also asked its agriculture department officials to
         Chennai: 9941130277                   crackdown on those selling fake seeds.              Along with spurious seeds the sale of unauthorized pesticides is also thriving. After
                                               the reports of pesticide poisoning deaths, the Maharashtra government has stepped up
         Admn. & Marketing Office
         MediA todAy PVt. ltd.                 seizures of unauthorized pesticides. A government-authorized study showed that the
         J-73, Paryavaran Complex, neb sarai,   sale of spurious pesticides made secretly and sometimes given names that resemble
         ignou road, new delhi - 110068 (india)
         Phone : 91-11-29535593 /              the originals has been rising in the country as a whole. Counterfeits account for up to
         64519106 / 65655264                   30 per cent of the more than $ 4 billion annual pesticide market.
         Web.:                 It  is  unfortunate  that  despite  the  importance  of  agriculture  in  this  country,  an                     effective  regulatory  framework  has  not  been  evolved  for  the  proper  manufacture
         Subscription                          and sale of pesticides. The Pesticides Bill to replace the 1968 Insecticide Act has been
         india : 1 year rs. 1000/-  by normal Post  pending  before  parliament  since  2008.  The  Bill  seeks  to  regulate  the  manufacture,
                    rs. 1300/- by Courier
                    2 years rs. 1850/-  by normal Post  quality, import, export and sale of pesticides. Among other things it would minimize
                    rs. 2450/- by Courier      the risk to human beings, animals and environment. Parliament should give some
          overseas :  us$ 120 for 1 year / us$ 230 for 2 years   urgency to the passage of this Bill. Besides, the government at the Centre and states
         single Copy  in india : rs. 100/-
         single Copy Cost for overseas : us$10  should help the famers and get the right combination of pesticides and give them the
                   (Add 5% GST)                right advice in handling and storage of pesticides. Alongside, it is equally important
                                               to  frame  stringent  laws  to  prevent  production  and  marketing  of  seeds  that  do  not
         Printed, published and owned by M.B. naqvi,  conform to quality norms.
         Printed at everest Press, e-49/8, okhla industrial Area
         Ph-ii, new delhi - 110 020 and
         Published from e-11/47 A, new Colony,   Comments are welcome at:
         Hauz rani, Malviya nagar, new delhi - 110017 (indiA)
                                               Views expressed by individuals and contributors in the magazine are their own and do not necessarily represent
         Editor : S. Jafar Naqvi               the views of  “AgriBusiness & Food industry” editorial board.  AgriBusiness & Food industry does not accept any
                                               responsibility of any direct, indirect or consequential damage caused to any party due to views expressed by
         Vol 14....... issue 12 ...... december, 2017  any one or more persons in the trade. All disputes are to be referred to delhi Jurisdiction only.       .....editor

        8      December2017     AgriBusiness & Food  i ndustr y
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