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   Pesticides.....

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  • 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.

Abuse of Pesticides

  • 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.

Precautions

  • 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 spurious products.

  • 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 guidance.

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