Fertiliser ministry to recommend ban on pesticides hazardous to nature, biodiversity

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 26 2014, 07:39am hrs
Favouring the use of pesticides which are friendly to nature, fertiliser minister Ananth Kumar on Monday said his ministry will recommend banning those pesticides which are found to be be hazardous to biodiversity. "There is need for holistic green revolution in the country and our motto should be less chemicals, more crops," he said.

While addressing the annual Agrochem Conference organised by Ficci, the minister said: "The biggest challenge today is whether our pesticides and insecticides are complementary to mother nature."

Expressing his concerns about biodiversity, the minister wondered "where bees and sparrows are these days."

So we will study and if it is found that there are pesticides and insecticides which are a threat to our nature and biodiversity, we will recommend banning them to the agriculture ministry," Kumar said.

The minister added that if some pesticides have been banned in other countries like the US, they could be banned in India as well.

Calling for increasing the use of bio-pesticides, Kumar said these have advantages over conventional pesticides.

They are usually inherently less toxic than conventional pesticides, they generally affect only the target pests and closely related organisms, in contrast to broad spectrum, conventional pesticides that may affect organisms as different as birds, insects, and mammals, he added.

The registration of pesticides, their standards and residue levels, is governed by the Insecticides Act of 1968, which requires major changes to address the issues affecting this segment, he added.

"Green lifestyle is the best lifestyle," the minister said. "The Pesticides Management Bill 2008 has been introduced in Parliament to replace the Insecticides Act, and the government will take all possible action to pass the same expeditiously so as to accelerate the growth and development of this sector," Kumar said.

In India, presently about 250 insecticides stand registered on regular basis for use in the country. There are more than 60 technical grade pesticides being manufactured indigenously by 125 producers and more than 500 pesticide formulators spread over the country.