Agri Business

Pesticide ban: PMFAI wants Centre to a high-powered committee check Anupam Varma Committee’s report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 09, 2020

India’s export capability by more than 50 per cent, says PMFAI President

Indian agrochemicals companies are getting their legal teams ready for a court battle if the Centre goes ahead and bans 27 generic pesticides.

On May 14, the Agriculture Ministry had issued a draft notification intending to ban the chemicals as it has found they were harmful for humans and animals. In the notification, the Ministry has given time until June 27 to all the stakeholders for submitting their objections and suggestions.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, the President of Pesticides Manufacturers & Formulators Association of India (PMFAI), Pradip Dave told media persons in a digital press conference that the ban will shrink India’s export capability by more than 50 per cent, and hand over a market worth ₹12,000 crore to Chinese competitors. It will defeat the very purpose of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Atmanirbhar Bharat.

PMFAI’s allegation

He said that PMFAI believes Anupam Varma Committee report, which reviewed the generic pesticides is arbitrary, and has not taken into the record all the evidence and data on hand about the pesticides. Therefore, the industry body wants the government to appoint a high-powered scientific committee to look into the Anupam Varma Committee’s report.

The Anupam Varma Committee was formed on July 18, 2013, and its original mandate was to examine the continued use of three neo-nicotinoids based pesticides, on August 19, 2013, the committe’s mandate was expanded to review 66 pesticides that are banned, restricted or withdrawn in some other countries, but are used in India, he said.

The Anupam Varma committee completed the review process of 66 pesticides in five meetings held in 2014 without properly involving the agrochemical industry. Plus, the Committee report has still not been made public.

It must be noted that the 27 generic pesticide formulations to be banned cost between ₹350 to ₹450 per litre, while the imported alternatives will cost in the range of ₹1,200 to ₹2,000 per litre. Today, the total global market size of generic agrochemicals is ₹30,000 crore, and a ban in India will be beneficial to China.

Chairman of UPL Ltd, Rajju Shroff said that the environmentalists claim that the continued use of pesticides has affected the honey bees and their lifecycle. But if that was the case then India’s honey production, which was 48,000 tonnes when these chemicals were introduced and would not have risen to 1.40 lakh tonnes (today’s production)

Published on June 09, 2020

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