14 August 2020, Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered a ban on the sale and use of 9 agrochemicals, after the Agriculture Department found these were still being used by farmers despite being detrimental to the quality of Paddy.
The ban is aimed at protecting the Paddy quality, which is critical to its export and remunerative pricing in the international market.
The Chief Minister, who also hold the Agriculture portfolio, has approved the ban of Acephate, Triazophos, Thiamethoxam, Carbendazim, Tricyclazole, Buprofezin, Carbofuron, Propiconazole and Thiophinate Methyl, under section 27 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 with immediate effect.
Ban on sale, stocking, distribution and use
Under the ban orders, the sale, stocking, distribution and use of these nine insecticides on rice crop has been prohibited. The Chief Minister has asked Secretary Agriculture KS Pannu to issue detailed guidelines to Director Agriculture to ensure strict enforcement of the ban, issued after state government laboratories conducted sample testing.
Pannu said these agro-chemicals were non-conducive to the farmers’ interest, besides resulting in degradation of quality, and also posed a risk of higher pesticide residues in rice grain than the Maximum Residual Level (MRL) fixed by the Government.
The Agriculture department has launched an intensive campaign over the past two years to sensitize the farmers and pesticide dealers about the hazards of the use of such chemicals on human beings. Even the Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association had reported that several samples contain the residue value of these pesticides, much above the prescribed MRL values in Basmati Rice, added the Secretary Agriculture.