Agri Business

Govt moves to ban 27 pesticides; ‘baffled’ industry says it will oppose the order

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on May 19, 2020 Published on May 19, 2020

After unleashing the agri-marketing reforms through the Atmanirbhar stimulus package, the government, in a surprise move, has proposed to ban 27 pesticides such as Carbendazim and Monocrotophos, which are widely used by the farmers across the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare issued a draft order on Monday banning these 27 pesticides and has given 45 days for the industry and companies manufacturing such chemicals to file their objections, if any.

The draft order – called Banning of Insecticides Order 2020 – prohibits import, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of such insecticides. The pesticides in the proposed list are: Acephate, Atrazine, Benfuracarb, Butachlor, Captan, Carbofuran, Chlorpyriphos, 2,4-D, Deltamethrin, Dicofol, Dimethoate, Dinocap, Diuron, Malathion, Mancozeb, Methomyl, Oxyfluorfen, Pendimethalin, Quinalphos and Sulfosulfuron

The industry is baffled by the government’s move and plans to oppose the ban order. “We are going to oppose the order and submit the details of all the data, which has been generated by the industry,” said Rajesh Aggarwal, Managing Director of Insecticides India Ltd.

“There is strong pressure in the international market that the generics have to go. India has a strong presence in the generics,” Aggarwal said. If implemented, the ban would not only hurt farmers, but also exports. The Indian pesticide industry is estimated at ₹19,000 crore, while exports are pegged at ₹21,000 crore. The list of chemicals account for about a fifth of the total industry, Aggarwal said.

Industry sources said the timing of the notification is surprising as it has come at a time when the government is promoting ‘Make in India’ and has announced stimulus to make the country self-reliant.

Also, banning these affordable chemicals would affect food security as it would lead to further increase in cost of cultivation for farmers.

Published on May 19, 2020

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