TNAU to set up labs to analyze toxic residues on vegetables

Coimbatore,Feb 7 (PTI):Analysis of toxic residues on food,particularly vegetables will soon be possible as the TamilNadu Agricultural University plans to set up Pesticide TestingLaboratories at its constituent colleges in Madurai andKillikulam, according to a top university official

TNAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Murugesa Bhoopathi said farmersresort to 12 to 15 sprays of chemical pesticides forvegetables, which results in toxic residues in harvestedproduce. These laboratories would analyze them, he said.

He stressed the need to increase vegetable productivity tomeet projected demand of 170 million tons in 2025 against thepresent 109 million tons and said the demand could be metthrough improved Integrated Pest Management practices.

Though the area under vegetable crops occupied only abouttwo per cent of cultivated area in the country, it consumes 13to 14 per cent of total pesticides used for agriculture, hesaid, addressing a function of ''Farm school on All IndiaRadio,'' recently.

By adopting IPM practices with special emphasis onbiopesticides, farmers can reduce pesticide load on crops andsupply quality vegetables to the consumers, he said.

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