Agri Business

Maharashtra to formulate policy for pesticide sales due to farmer deaths

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on January 09, 2018

Over 23% share Maharashtra is the top consumer of pesticides in India   -  THE HINDU

State govt wants to end sale of non-standard and non-recommended pesticides



In view of multiple deaths of farmers in Maharashtra due to suspected pesticide poisoning, the State government is in the process of formulating a new policy for pesticide sales. It wants to stop the sale of non-standard and non-recommended pesticides in the State.

Since October 2017, suspected poisoning caused 21 deaths in the cotton growing district of Yavatmal in the State, causing a huge hue and cry across the country. The farmers had resorted to heavy pesticide spraying due to the persistent attack of pink bollworms on cotton crop.

New policy

Agriculture Secretary of Maharashtra of Bijay Kumar told BusinessLine that the State government wants to have a traceability of all pesticides sold to farmers in the State, therefore the new policy is being formulated. The attempt is to ensure that only pesticides registered with Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) and with Maharashtra government are sold in the State, he said.

Co-marketing

He pointed that many a time pesticides are produced by one company but the marketing is undertaken by another. This arrangement in the trade parlance is called co-marketing. However, a number of violations have been found in co-marketing ventures, therefore the rules for such sale would be further tightened. The pesticides sold under co-marketing route need to be property labelled with the name of the manufacturer and the marketing company properly displayed.

Kumar said that in co-marketing venture both parties will be responsible for the product. The new policy will be in place before the beginning of Kharif season (June). It will attempt to bring lesser toxic and more economical pesticides to the farmer, he said.

Topmost consumer

The data put out by the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage, Agriculture Ministry says that in 2016-2017 (provisional) 57,000 tonnes of chemical pesticides were consumed in the country out of which 13,496 tonnes were used by farmers in Maharashtra. Maharashtra is the topmost consumers of pesticides with over 23.5 per cent share. A senior consultant with a leading pesticide manufacturer said that companies in co-marketing space do not follow established procedures and fair trade practices. The label on the pesticide pack does not properly reveal the contents and name of the manufacturer. The same company markets the same product under different brand names and varying prices. It creates confusion among farmers and leads to distrust between industry and Government officials.

Published on January 09, 2018
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