The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has issued a draft order – called Banning of Insecticides Order 2020. Government to ban 27 pesticides and insecticides in India.
Ban on Pesticides
The order prohibits import, manufacturing, sale, transport, distribution, and use of 27 types of pesticides. These include Acephate, Atrazine, Benfuracarb, Butachlor, Captan, Carbofuran, Chlorpyriphos, 2,4-D, Deltamethrin, Dicofol, Dimethoate, Dinocap, Diuron, Malathion, Mancozeb, Methomyl, Oxyfluorfen, Pendimethalin, Quinalphos, and Sulfosulfuron. The notification is the aggregation of the long-pending process started by Anupam Varma committee in 2013. Also, the ministry has given 45 days to file any objections to the industry and companies manufacturing such chemicals
Bewildered by this move, pesticide and insecticide manufacturers set to oppose the government’s move by submitting detailed data. Rajesh Aggarwal, MD of Insecticides India Ltd said that the move would not only affect the farmers but also exports as a list of chemicals account for about a fifth of the total pesticide industry. Further, industry sources said that the notification contradicts the government’s idea of ‘Make in India’. Moreover, it has come at a time when the country is already preoccupied with battling the crisis of COVID19. Besides, it would lead to an increase in the cost of cultivation, which would affect food security in the country. Earlier, the ministry banned 18 pesticides in 2018.
No Complaints Against Pesticides
Pradip Dave, President of PMFAI, said that generic products have been in use for the last three to four decades without any complaint. Further, he said that the replacement of these would cost around six times more and hence put a burden on the Indian farmer. Also, the decision would not make way for any incremental investment by MNCs.
The Need to Ban
Amit Khurana, program director Food Safety and Toxins, said that the class I category pesticides like Monocrotophos and carbofuran are highly toxic and heavily used in India. Not only this, but there are other endocrine-disrupting chemicals in insecticides such as chlorpyriphos and quinalphos. Sixty-three countries, including the UK, those in the European Union (EU), Argentina, Canada, South Korea, and New Zealand, have already banned their use. Besides, Monocrotophos and acephate, another on the ban list have taken the lives of several farmers in Maharashtra’s Vidharbha.
In all, the move has come as a surprise to many. If the draft becomes order, it will ban the use of the listed pesticides.