About 27 pesticides are likely to be banned by the central government, the union minister for agriculture and farmers’ welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, announced in Rajya Sabha. The government has already appointed an expert committee in this regard.
At the same time, the Standing Committee on Agriculture has invited public opinion on Pesticide Management Bill 2020 and the bill is under review under the chairpersonship of P.C. Gaddigoudar, MP.
India has always been particular about the use of pesticides in agriculture. That’s why the country has an Insecticides Act since 1968, which has undergone amendments as time passed.
The special committee has already reviewed 66 pesticides, as per the Union Minister of Agriculture. Following due procedure, the government had completely banned 12 pesticides and 6 were phased out.
DDT was completely banned in agriculture use in May 1989, but it was allowed for use in public health programs. Tomar said, “In addition, 27 aforementioned pesticides have further been identified to be banned.”
He added that Fenitrothion pesticide is already banned in agricultural use. Endosulfan pesticide has not been reviewed, being under consideration of the Supreme Court. Around 18 pesticides were recommended to be continued in their usage.
As per Tomar’s statements, the government has, so far, banned or phased out 46 pesticides and 4 pesticide formulations for import, sale, or manufacture in India. Out of this, 5 banned pesticides are allowed for manufacture for export purpose only, 8 pesticide registrations are withdrawn, and 9 pesticides are placed under restricted use.
While the Centre is considering banning 27 pesticides in India, the Punjab Agriculture Department has already urged the Center to ban 6 agrochemicals (pesticides). It had sent a communiqué to the ministry recently stating that pesticide residues in basmati rice are hindering the export of this premium rice. Punjab had banned 9 compounds of agrochemicals in the Kharif season 2020 for a period of six months. Six of them were the above mentioned agro chemicals and the remaining three were triazophos, propiconazole, and thiamethoxam.
The 27 pesticides that are to be banned are as follows: