Pesticides here to stay, management necessary: experts

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Ludhiana, Nov 29 (UNI) Pesticides are here to stay as an important component of pest management in the interest of food security of burgeoning human population, experts here have stressed.

"However, integrated pest management strategies have led to 30-40 per cent reduction in the pesticides use and the related pollution," Punjab Agricultural University Research Director Dr N S Malhi said here today, speaking at a symposium on 'Pesticides and Environment' inaugurated at PAU.

Underscoring the need for farm scientists to educate the farmers about the right and judicious use of pesticides, Mr Malhi said,''By 2050 the world population will cross 10 billion mark and that to feed the ever increasing mouths, food production has to be tripled which can be possible either by increasing area or by enhancing production potential, which seem improbable with the pressure on land due to modernisation." Dr Malhi however, stressed that ''For the management of pests, resulting in 33 per cent loss of food production potential, the use of pesticides and other pest management options would be needed for a long time.'' Dr Malhi traced the history of pesticides growth in the country saying that pesticides use, which started in 1948, increased to 90000 metric tons in 1991-92 and has registered major decline by 2004-05 due to integrated pest management strategies.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr BS Chillar of Haryana Agricultural University, Hissar invited attention of scientists on the increasing problems of pesticide residue in edible commodities.

He identified the improper dose, wrong pesticides and erroneous application as the probable causes for this problem.

"Even mother's milk has shown traces of pesticides residues", said Dr Chillar.

Dr S K Handa, consultant WHO, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, delivered his key-note address wherein he presented current scenario of pesticide application in crops, in different countries together with health implications, risk assessment in terms of toxicity, exposure and characterisation of pesticides etc.

"Dose makes the poison", was the emphasis as Dr Handa said that while considering any pesticide for registration, all relevant data on toxicity, residue limits, field performance, chemistry of the pesticide etc should be scrutinised thoroughly.

UNI

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