Use of chemical pesticides is
necessary for protection of crops from insects, pests and diseases. Viral diseases have
not chemical treatment, and can only be prevented by using disease - resistant strains.
Bacterial and fungal diseases can be controlled by timely application of appropriate
pesticides in proper doses. Similarly, insects and pests destroying the crop can be
controlled by pesticides.
While pesticides are necessary,
their excessive use, or improper or unscientific use can cause great harm, apart from
wastage of money. For instance for controlling Brown Plant Hopper (BHP), the pesticide
must be applied on the sol around the plant stem, and spraying on leaves will not help.
Similarly excessive use of pesticides can cause serious damage to the ecology. If the
wrong pesticide is used, it will only result in wastage, and does not control the pest.
Therefore proper understanding and advice are necessary before pesticide application.
Excessive use of powerful
pesticides leads to the following serious problems
The insect may develop
resistance to the pesticide, and may become a huge uncontrollable problem. Spread of such
resistant pests sometimes leads to major crisis in the agricultural sector affecting vast
areas. For instance excess use of insecticides led to resistant heliothis on cotton. This
spread to several crops over vast extents and caused a major disaster in farm sector in
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and several other regions over the past decade or more.
The insecticide may kill and
reduce the population of useful predator insects, which normally control the minor pests.
As a result the minor pests grow uncontrollably and become a major problem. For instance,
excess use of synthetic pyrethroids led to the rise of 'white fly' population to such an
extent that it became to menace to cotton and other crops. At times even terrific came to
a standstill because the vast masses of white flies reduced visibility on roads to 'zero'!
Most insecticides are also
poisonous to human beings. They can be absorbed through skin, eyes, mouth, breathing or
scratches and wounds on the body. All precautions must be taken while mixing or spraying
pesticides as advised by manufacturers and scientists. In cases of poisoning, immediate
medical treatment will save lives. Where medical facilities are not readily available, it
is safe to train one or two educated young persons and always keep in readiness some of
the antidotes like atropine.
There are 147 pesticides
registered for use in our country. There are 13000 authorized dealers in the State.
Misbranding of pesticides by unscrupulous manufacturers and traders is very common in our
State. Similarly adulteration is common , because many pesticides are very expensive and
traders can make huge profits by adulteration.
The use of pesticides is
highest in Andhra Pradesh. In areas like Guntur, pesticide use on cotton and chilli crops
is highest in the world. Therefore farmers should have good knowledge of the scientific
use of pesticides as well as the legal provisions and procedures for their protection.
All pesticide manufactures and
traders must obtain licences under the Insecticides Act. Farmers should observe the
following precautions while purchasing pesticides from any dealer.
Please insist on proper invoice
or bill. Also please note the details of the insecticide sold. These details include lot
number, date and place of manufacturing, whether company seal is intact, composition of
the pesticide, date of expiry etc
Please make sure that the
pesticide you wish to buy is actually effective against the pests you want to control, and
gain information about its proper use.
Please make sure that the
spraying equipment is in proper condition, and drops or drop-lets are not wasted.
If you have any doubt about the
quality of pesticide, you may send it through the local Agricultural Officer for testing
at the laboratories at Rajendranagar, Guntur, Ananthapur or Tadepalligudem. All tests are
done free of cost in the government testing laboratories.
Please contact the Agricultural
Officer in case of any doubt about the quality of the pesticide. These officials have the
duty to inspect and draw samples from time to time on their own or on complaints. They can
also seize stocks and suspend licences.
In proven cases of
adulteration, the licences will be cancelled, stocks confiscated and the offenders
prosecuted. Similar action can be taken against manufacturers in case of misbranding or
Please purchase pesticides from
reputed companies and reliable dealers only.
It is always better to rely on
farmers' societies or credible co-operatives for pesticide supply, scientific advice and