PCI introduces new pesticides to protect crops

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Mumbai, Jan 10 (UNI) Pest Control of India (PCI) has introduced new kind of pesticides, which are chemicals known as pheromones, a safer mode of crop protection, that does not pose risk to humans or animals.

''Pheromones lures and trap'' is an insect trapping apparatus which essentially works by using the sex pheromones generated by female insects to attract their male counterparts. Pheromones specifically disrupt the reproductive cycle of harmful insects. In this way, farmers can reduce the amount of insecticide they need - spraying only when the insects are in a vulnerable stage or when their numbers exceed certain levels.

A PCI spokesperson said, ''Pests are affecting crops like rice, sugarcane, pulses and wheat making the food grain production stagnant for last five years. In India, consumption of pesticides is as low as 0.5 kg per hectare against Korea's 6.60 kg per hectare and Japan's 12.0 kg per hectare.'' '' According to the pesticides industry statistics, India spends 3 USD per hectare on pesticides compared with 255 USD per hectare spent by South Korea and 633 USD per hectare by Japan.

Investing in pesticides gives the farmers more than five times of their return on the investment,'' said the spokesperson.

However lamenting about the current state of affairs, he added, ''Many of the pesticides that farmers use for our crops have both environmental and health hazards. DDT, dioxin, HCH (hexachlorocyclohexane), and aldrin belong to the class of organochlorines. Almost every organochlorine studied has been linked to some environmental or human health harm.'' UNI LS SR BJR RN1742

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