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April 05, 2019 |

Horticulture and Pesticides

Horticulture is undoubtedly among the important sectors in state economy. According to the economic survey 2017, seven lakh families comprising of about 33 lakh people are directly or indirectly associated with horticulture. Also, 3.38 lakh hectare area was under fruit (mostly temperate fruits) production producing 22.35 lakh metric tonnes. However, one of the ignored points in the seemingly progressive picture is the need and use of pesticides in the state. There have been reports suggesting the sale of sub standard pesticides in the valley in recent past. Although the government on its part has put a lot of emphasis on developing horticulture in Kashmir considering its potential of meeting the ever increasing demands of unemployment in the state, it has not shown solemnity on a range of issues affecting the people in the state, especially those who are associated with horticulture.  The use of fungicides, pesticides and other chemicals has increased manifold in the last couple of decades thereby making the production of fruits directly dependent on their efficacy. Subsequently growers have been expressing dismay over the quality of pesticides available. With the results in front of us, it will not be wrong to say that the government machinery has failed to enforce quality check on the pesticides, most of which are imported from outside the state. As per the survey, the government said Law  Enforcement  for  regulation  of  sub  standard  fertilizers and pesticides  has  been strengthened  and  two  pesticide  laboratories  were  expected  to  be  established  under PM’s package. The state government, on its part, has done little to allay the fears of new growers, particularly in the horticulture sector, regarding their future. Apart from constituting a committee, very little has been done to tackle the sale of spurious material including pesticides. The government had reported in the past that unexpected change in weather patterns is primarily responsible for the degradation of horticulture industry. To some extent, it can have an impact but summarily putting blame on weather is wrong. The committee, therefore, needs to look afresh at the concerns expressed by farmers. It must constitute investigating squads throughout the valley and have men and machinery available for taking on the mafia who are involved in the trade of spurious pesticides and drugs in valley. Laboratories for testing these pesticides must be established in every district. Farmers need to be educated about the authenticity of pesticides. By doing so, the trust among the end users can be reposed. No doubt, it will be a step in right direction but as always more needs to be done and done fast.

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April 05, 2019 |

Horticulture and Pesticides

              

Horticulture is undoubtedly among the important sectors in state economy. According to the economic survey 2017, seven lakh families comprising of about 33 lakh people are directly or indirectly associated with horticulture. Also, 3.38 lakh hectare area was under fruit (mostly temperate fruits) production producing 22.35 lakh metric tonnes. However, one of the ignored points in the seemingly progressive picture is the need and use of pesticides in the state. There have been reports suggesting the sale of sub standard pesticides in the valley in recent past. Although the government on its part has put a lot of emphasis on developing horticulture in Kashmir considering its potential of meeting the ever increasing demands of unemployment in the state, it has not shown solemnity on a range of issues affecting the people in the state, especially those who are associated with horticulture.  The use of fungicides, pesticides and other chemicals has increased manifold in the last couple of decades thereby making the production of fruits directly dependent on their efficacy. Subsequently growers have been expressing dismay over the quality of pesticides available. With the results in front of us, it will not be wrong to say that the government machinery has failed to enforce quality check on the pesticides, most of which are imported from outside the state. As per the survey, the government said Law  Enforcement  for  regulation  of  sub  standard  fertilizers and pesticides  has  been strengthened  and  two  pesticide  laboratories  were  expected  to  be  established  under PM’s package. The state government, on its part, has done little to allay the fears of new growers, particularly in the horticulture sector, regarding their future. Apart from constituting a committee, very little has been done to tackle the sale of spurious material including pesticides. The government had reported in the past that unexpected change in weather patterns is primarily responsible for the degradation of horticulture industry. To some extent, it can have an impact but summarily putting blame on weather is wrong. The committee, therefore, needs to look afresh at the concerns expressed by farmers. It must constitute investigating squads throughout the valley and have men and machinery available for taking on the mafia who are involved in the trade of spurious pesticides and drugs in valley. Laboratories for testing these pesticides must be established in every district. Farmers need to be educated about the authenticity of pesticides. By doing so, the trust among the end users can be reposed. No doubt, it will be a step in right direction but as always more needs to be done and done fast.

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