‘Stopping crop losses should be priority’

AgriNation News Network

New Delhi. 12 July 2018

Chemicals and Petrochemical Secretary, Mr. P. Raghavendra Rao, concurred with the industry’s view on the need for data protection provisions in the Insecticides Act to encourage R&D in crop protection products and combat the menace of  spurious pesticides.

Inaugurating the 7th National Agrochemicals Conference 2018, organised by FICCI jointly with  the  Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare  and the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Government of India, Mr. Rao advised the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee (CIB&RC) to engage in this area expeditiously.

He said that agrochemicals had a significant role in ushering in the second green revolution as data showed that 30% of agrochemicals currently in use in agriculture sector were spurious or of sub-standard quality. Expressing concern at the high wastage or loss of food annually, currently reckoned at 40% of food production, of which 20% was attributed to pests, Mr. Rao said that it was imperative for all stakeholders to put their heads together to come up with  workable solutions to crop losses.

Mr. Rao suggested that efforts should be made to make farmers aware of the  genuineness of plant protection pesticides so that the fake products could be kept at bay. He also laid stress on food and nutritional security and emphasised the critical role of micro-irrigation.

Mr. Rao also released a FICCI- Tata Strategic Management Group Knowledge Paper titled ‘Doubling Farmers’ Income: Role of Crop Protection Chemicals & Solutions’.

The biggest challenge before India was to keep the farmers in their villages and stopping their migration to cities. Based on the experience worldwide, he called for removal of distribution distortions, measures to enhance crop productivity, nutritional efficiency and adoption of modern farming practices.

Mr. Rio said that the period for data protection in the development of pesticides should be no less than 10 years and underlined the need for such a regulation in India, said Mr. Rafael Del Rio, Managing Director & Territory Head (South Asia), Syngenta India Ltd.