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Spurious Pesticides- Time to be Alert

The Agrochemicals Policy Group (APG), the industrial body representing the crop protection companies, including the pesticides manufacturers and formulators, has estimated the crop loss at Rs 6,000 crore annually due to use of spurious pesticides.APG, representing 200 pesticide manufacturers, including Rallis India, Bayer, Syngenta India, BASF India and United Phosphorus have urged to take stringent action against spurious pesticide manufacturers and sellers.Copying of labels“Crop protection chemicals are medicines for the plants. On the lines of death penalty applicable for production and sale of fake medicines as enshrined in the Drugs and Cosmetic Bill 2003, should be applicable for those involved in such activities.Dubious manufacturers in Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat are copying labels of popular pesticides causing harm not only to the farmers but also ruining the reputation, sales and profitability of the genuine registered manufacturers.The fake pesticides are inferior formulations, which not only fail to kill pests but also inflict damage to the crops. Poor and marginal farmers fall prey to such cheap products and end up with low crop yield.Cheap inputs“Some counterfeit pesticides do not contain any active plant protection ingredient and largely comprise materials like talcum powder, chalk powder, any odd solvent or just kerosene. Others may contain some active ingredients but only a fraction of that mentioned on the label,” said a crop nutrient manufacturer.Cheap and unreliable agricultural inputs previously sold only in underdeveloped markets such Bihar, Bengal and Orissa, have now, surprisingly been found in Western Maharashtra, Marathwada, Khandesh and Vidharbha. About 30 per cent of the sugarcane crops in the second-largest sugar producing state of Uttar Pradesh are lost due to fake pesticide products. Most of these fake pesticides are manufactured in the outskirts of Delhi and Haryana, which are close to Punjab.

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