Grow Safe food Campaign has been initiated to create awareness
INVC NEWS New Delhi, Government of India has taken several measures for proper use of pesticides by the farmers in the country. The pesticide residue data generated under the “Monitoring of Pesticide Residues at National Level” are shared with State Governments and concerned Ministries/Organizations to initiate the corrective action for judicious and proper use of pesticides on crops with an Integrated Pest Management approach and to generate awareness amongst farmers. Department of Agriculture, Co-Operation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) emphasizes Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which promotes biological, cultural and mechanical methods of pest and advocates need based, judicious use of pesticides. DAC&FW implement a scheme “Strengthening and Modernization of Pest Management Approach in India” to promote Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which is an environment friendly broad ecological approach for managing pest problems. It encompasses pest control techniques such as cultural, mechanical and biological with minimum dependence on chemical pesticides. Human Resource Development in IPM is done by imparting training to Agriculture / Horticulture Extension Officers and farmers at Grass Root Level by organizing Farmers Fields Schools (FFSs) and Seasonal Long Training Programmes (SLTPs). The DAC & FW has established 35 Central IPM centers in different states to promote IPM Strategies. Grant-in-aid is also provided to the States for establishment /strengthening of State Biocontrol Laboratories. A total of 313 SBCLs have been established across India. “Grow Safe food” Campaign has been initiated to create awareness about the safe and judicious use of pesticides among the various stakeholders. In addition to the above, DAC&FW has revised 68 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Packages of Practices for major crops giving impetus to ecological and cultural techniques of pest management. Under the Insecticide Act 1968, insecticides are registered after evaluating the safety of the product with respect to human health. The terms of registration also include instructions for farmers and users of pesticides on label and leaflets of containers on safe use of pesticides. If the pesticide is used as per the instructions on labels and leaflets, they are unlikely to leave behind unwanted residues in the agri-produce. BACKGROUND The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture is regularly monitoring the pesticide residues in food commodities and environmental samples under the central sector scheme, “Monitoring of Pesticide Residues at National Level”. The scheme was initiated during 2005-06 and has 25 participating laboratories representing Ministry of Agriculture, Indian Council of Agriculture Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizer, Ministry of Commerce and State Agricultural Universities across the country. The participating laboratories collect food commodities samples from various Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) markets, Public Distribution Systems (PDS), Farm Gates and irrigated water and soil samples from agricultural fields across various parts of the country. The samples are analyzed for the presence of possible pesticide residues in various food commodities such as vegetables, fruits, cereals, spices, pulses, milk, butter, irrigated water, fish, meat, tea etc.