The three pesticides banned are Dicofol, Dinocap, and Methomyl and 8 pesticides for which there is a change in label claim are Carbofuran, Malathion, Monocrotophos, Quinalphos, Mancozeb, Oxyfluorfen, Dimethoate, and Chlorpyriphos
The decision of the Indian Ministry of Agriculture to ban 3 out of 27 pesticides has been long awaited by the farming community. They have been very appreciative of this move to continue usage of 24 pesticides, informs Harish Mehta, Sr. Advisor, Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI).
Over the years, farmers have used them judiciously without any adverse effect. The three pesticides banned are Dicofol, Dinocap, and Methomyl. Manufacturing companies of these pesticides did not push to defend them as there are better alternatives available.
The Central Government after considering the report of the Expert Committee and after consultation with the Registration Committee concluded that the use of three pesticides Dicofol, Dinocap, and Methomyl be discontinued due to the non-availability of data on safety and efficacy.
The original notification had listed several causes for banning of these pesticides. The manufacturers who had previously generated sufficient data worked meticulously to satisfy the government by submitting additional information. These aspects were examined by the technical expert committee headed by Dr. T.P Rajendran that considered extensive data submitted by individual companies and associations to arrive at their conclusion.
The Central Government issued a notification on 2nd Feb 2023 to prohibit these three pesticides for registration, to import, manufacture, distribute, sell and use.
In addition to the three being banned, the central government on the recommendation of the expert committee decided to remove a few selected crops from the label claim for which the bio-efficacy and residue data was not then available.
The 8 pesticides for which there is a change in label claim are Carbofuran, Malathion, Monocrotophos, Quinalphos, Mancozeb, Oxyfluorfen, Dimethoate, and Chlorpyriphos.
In the global market, generic molecules continue to dominate with over 70% market share, which is also the trend in India. With continuation of these key 24 pesticides, the availability would increase besides ensuring reasonable price, as compared with imported molecules. This would facilitate keeping cost of cultivation low. These products are recommended by most of the state Agricultural Universities and are part of their package of practices as per industry experts.
India is one of the leading players in the global agriculture sector. We are the 2nd largest producer of agricultural commodities in the world. The kharif season sees major consumption of agrochemicals primarily on cotton, rice, sugarcane, soybean, fruits, vegetables, etc.
India is fortunate to have sunlight throughout the year, largest area under cultivated crops and with 14.5 crore farmers directly involved in agriculture. The continuation of these molecules would largely benefits family managed small farms and their crop- livestock, mixed farming system, CCFI opines. No other country grows as many crops as we do, due to agro biodiversity. According to estimate by Indian government, our country loses agri products worth Rs.1.48 lakh crores annually due to such damage posed by weeds, fungal diseases and insect pests.
The approved list includes widely used pesticides and a majority with no alternatives or substitutes. All these pesticides have been used by Indian farmers for the last 5 decades. The ban could have even impacted emergency control of invasive pests like locusts which entered India in September 2020. Their use by Government and private sector ensured in controlling this National menace. The 27 molecules cumulatively have over 130 formulations and combinations with a business value of about Rs. 15,500 crores including exports.
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