Use of pesticides in agricultural fields opposed

TUESDAY, 04 DECEMBER 2012 19:16


The Living Farms, an organisation working to provide food sovereignty for small and marginal farmers in the State, on Monday urged the State Government to impose a ban on the sale and use of highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs).

“In 2011, the Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PANAP) released an updated list of HHPs which include Chlorpyrifos, Butachlor, Carbendazim, Carbofuran, Endosulfan, Fipronil, Monocrotophos and Phorate which are very dangerous not only for human beings but also for animals,” noted organic farmer and member of Living Farms Natabar Sarangi told reporters here.

Sarangi said these pesticides are widely used in Odisha. For example, Chloropyrifos, Pretilachlor, methyl Parathion, Carbofuran, Monocrotophos and Imidachlopridare are used for paddy, cotton, vegetables, greens and fruits cultivation and even in lawns and flower plants. Some of these HHPs are used for paddy cultivation being promoted by the Central Government under the programme, Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India.

“Most of these pesticides are highly hazardous, possessing acute and chronic hazards to human health and environment,” said Debajit Sarnagi, another member of Living Farms, adding that it is not only endangering the present generation, it is also putting the future generation at a very high risk.

For instance Sarangi said Chlorpyrifos which is used extensively in Odisha, is actually a neurotoxin and its ingestion can cause a disruption in the transmission of nerve impulses. This can result in dizziness, headaches, loose motions, increased urination and salivation.

When the ingestion is excessive, it can lead to paralysis, convulsions and even death. “So we have decided to launch a campaign to make people aware about the bad effects of pesticides.

The objective of the campaign will be to promote general awareness on the harm posed by HHPs, the benefits of agro-ecological approaches and generate mass support for non-chemical approaches, said Sarangi.

He also said their organisation would persuade people to press the Government to take measures to promote agro-ecology and eliminate the pesticides in the State.

“Why should we and our children be held responsible for such a mass slow poisoning?” asked noted agricultural scientist Sisir Parija.