29 August 2023, New Delhi: A live demonstration on safe spraying techniques wearing a PPE kit was conducted with Basmati growers at Panipat (Haryana) last week by the Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI). Ms Nirmala Pathrawal, Executive director of CCFI along with Harish Mehta, Senior Advisor at CCFI were present for the training program.
The session included a presentation on paddy pests and diseases by Mr. Harinder Bains of UPL along with Ebro India a French conglomerate engaged in procuring basmati rice from farmers. The training included knowledge sharing right from seed treatment, preparation of nursery, weed control, management of pests and diseases, optimal use of water, and post-harvest storage.
Ms. Nirmala explained the importance of crop protection, the safe application of agrochemicals, the precautions to be taken while purchasing agrochemicals from a dealer, and the importance of timely use of chemicals.
Mr. Harish Mehta while addressing over 200 farmers clarified the myths about pesticide use, more importantly, the use of recommended pesticides on basmati rice, and the importance of Pre-harvest Interval (PHI) to ensure there were no rejections in the exported consignments. It was an interactive session with rewards for those responding during the Q&A Session. Several doubts about the excessive use of pesticides by Indian farmers, food safe for human consumption, the issue of residues and stringent control by the Ministry of Agriculture on samples drawn, etc. were clarified. It was also made clear that the companies are ensuring proper quality resulting in exports by Indian manufacturers to over 150 countries and training for safe and judicious use of pesticides on all crops of economic importance – Basmati being one of them. The exports have increased over the years. The farmers were also advised to use tolerant varieties of shorter duration to take care of weather contingencies.
They were cautioned to avoid the use of tobacco or smoking while spraying and to ensure that an adequate quantity of water was used to make the spray solution.
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