The increasing use of pesticides is a matter of concern for both farmers and consumers. The government’s push for natural farming in budget 2020 also required curb on sale and use of pesticides.
Effects of Excessive Use of Pesticide
Researches prove that repeated exposure to pesticides and insecticide can cause cancer, birth defects and disruption of the endocrine system. Its short-term effects include rashes, blisters, nausea, and stinging eyes. Agriculture experts have pointed out the excessive dependence of Indian farmers on pesticides and insecticides. This has resulted in insecticide resistance and pests revival along with pesticide residue. Apart from this, excessive use of chemical fertilizers has caused an imbalance in the ecology.
An agriculture expert stated that the inadequate use of fertilizers only increases the input cost but also adversely affects groundwater and soil health. Besides, the pesticide residue enters vegetables, which make them harmful for consumption. Also, farmers turn to shopkeepers for advice on pesticide and fertilizer use which harms their fields. The excessive use of fertilizer enters into the water and harms the subsoil. It kills the microbes in the soil which are essential for maintaining the fertility of the soil.
Farmers state that they have no option other than listening to the dealers recommendation as there is no facility form Agriculture Department. Further, they justify the use of pesticides with the fear of pests and recovery of at least the input cost. However, many international and domestic farmers are moving towards natural farming. Several farmers in Punjab and Haryana are working towards preserving the farm-friendly insects by avoiding pesticides. These insects help to protect crops, which are otherwise killed by use of chemicals.
Besides, Germany-based farmer has adopted environment friendly farming rather than organic farming. He encourages the use of animal waste as manure and enough spacing in plants for absorbing nutrients.
In the latest sample checks by FSSAI, the majority of milk samples contained aflatoxins. Besides, around 40 cattle died in Patiala after the consumption of the green fodder. Also, researches confirm that aflatoxins can cause both acute and chronic toxicity and various other health problems. This was the result of the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides in fodder production.
To conclude, pesticides are useful when the attack of pests increases an economic threshold. However, its excessive use is not a sustainable farm practice. Hence, the government must curb the sale and use of pesticides to give a big push to natural farming.