India RegionCrop Protection

Punjab government bans 10 agrochemicals to save basmati rice exports

20 August 2022, New Delhi: Punjab government has banned 10 Insecticides for 60 days in a move to save basmati rice exports. A notification released by the state government last week reasoned, “Sale, stock, distribution and use of mentioned insecticides is not in the interest of basmati rice growers. There is a risk of higher pesticide residual than permitted Maximum Residual Level (MRL) fixed by the authorities.”

List of insecticides banned by Punjab Government
S. No.Name of Insecticide
List of insecticides banned by Punjab Government

With the ban in place, Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) has recommended a list of alternatives to be used to save the existing crops from pests and infestations. A source told Krishak Jagat, “These banned insecticides are essential for farmers and the alternatives are not effective. These insecticides are not just used in Paddy but are used extensively in other field crops, fruits and vegetables. These all are essential insecticides to save crop production.”

As per the notification, Punjab Rice Miller and Exporters Association requested the state government for ban after a range of samples tested by them were found to have pesticides above MRL levels.

Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) told Krishak Jagat, “The order is against the farming community and is unsustainable. The impugned order is manifestly arbitrary and ultra vires the provisions of the Insecticides Act especially with reference to Section 27 read with Section 26.”

The State Government can pass a temporary ban on the sale and use of any insecticide under Section 27 of the Insecticides Act only if its use is likely to cause risk to human beings or animals – for reasons of public safety. Pertinently, the Section 27 cannot be invoked in the absence of reports of “occurrences of poisoning” u/s 26 of the Insecticides Act. Further, the notification makes no reference to “any occurrences of poisoning”.The Industry body CCFI has sent a representation to Secretary Agriculture Punjab Mr. Dilraj Singh along with a copy to Agriculture Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Mr. Manoj Ahuja and Joint Secretary Plant Protection Dr. Pramod Kumar Meherda. 

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