Pesticides only on ''prescription'' from farm officers

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 27 (PTI) Seeking to reduce theuse of pesticides, Kerala Government has decided to make it amust for farmers to get ''prescription'' from agriculturalofficers for buying them from shops.

The guidelines, issued by Director of Agriculturerecently, said agricultural officers should write details suchas the name of the crop, the affliction from which the plantsuffers and chemical composition of the pesticide and dosagerequired in the prescriptions to be given to farmers, sourcesin Agriculture Department said.

Dealers would be asked to sell pesticides only onprescriptions and should enter the details in their registers.

Strict action would be taken against dealers or retailers whoviolate the rules.

"The LDF Government in Kerala had earlier adopted apolicy of making the state pesticide-free and to promoteorganic farming in a big way. These guidelines are a majorstep forward in that direction," the sources said.

The state has been pressing the Centre for a nationwideban on Endosulfan, the pesticide which allegedly causedserious health problems and casualties in parts of Kasargodedistrict.

Endosulfan and a few other brand of pesticides have beenbanned in the state after it was found that they have causedhealth problems and environmental degradation.

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