Bans Sale of Nine Agro-Chemicals
Chief Minister of Punjab has ordered a ban on Acephate, Triazophos, Thiamethoxam, Carbendazim, Tricyclazole, Buprofezin, Carbofuron, Propiconazole and Thiophinate Methyl with immediate effect. The said order has been passed under section 27 of the Insecticides Act, 1968. It prohibits the sale, stocking, distribution, and use of these nine agro-chemicals. Also, the government has directed the Agriculture Secretary K S Pannu to issue guidelines to ensure a stricter adherence. The move will protect the quality of paddy, which is essential for generating remunerative prices in the international market.
Adverse Effects of Agro-Chemicals
KS Pannu mentioned the risk of higher pesticide residues in the rice grains from the use of these insecticides. The presence of residue above the Maximum Residual Level (MRL) set by the government degraded the quality of the rice, making it unfit for human consumption.
The state had suffered huge losses as European nations rejected several containers of rice containing the excessive residual level last year. Moreover, Saudi Arabia and other Middle-East countries also joined the list after tracing pesticides in the exported rice. Plant Protection Officer Jaswinder Singh Brar had issued an order in June to traders banning the dealings of these chemicals. Besides, he warned that they would face legal action for trading these chemicals.
Officials expect basmati export to reach Rs 40,000 crore this year, up from Rs 35000 crore in the previous year. Besides, Punjab is likely to contribute 15% to the total exports of basmati. Hence, the government had banned the use of mentioned pesticides a long way back.
In all, the government is making every effort to add top-quality rice in the export basket of the country.