- February 9, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Environment
- Agrochemicals are essentially chemicals used for industrial agriculture. They can be crop protection chemicals such as pesticides that include insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. They can also be crop nutrient chemicals such as synthetic fertilisers.
- FICCI report in 2021, stated that India is one of the most prominent exporters of agrochemicals in the world, exporting to four main countries – USA, Japan, China and Brazil.
- The most prominent agrochemicals exported include mancozeb, 2,4D, acephate, chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin and profenos.
- India is currently the 12th largest exporter of chemicals in the world (excluding pharmaceuticals).
- India is the fourth-largest producer of agrochemicals in the world. The government has included the agrochemical sector among the 12 champion sectors where India can play an important role in the global supply chain.
- Among the chemical manufacturing states, Gujarat leads with the highest number of chemical factories.
- Improper use of pesticide turns fatal
- Pollution generated by agrochemicals is largely of two types — one is the point pollution generated from the source, where factories manufacture the agrochemicals. The second is diffused pollution, that comes after application of the agrochemicals on crops.
- In India glufosate and paraquat are two extensively used pesticides in the country.
- In May 2020, the government of India released a draft notification, the Banning of Insecticides Order, prohibiting the manufacture and use of 27 insecticides. The order, almost three years later, is still a draft.
- The Insecticides Act, 1968 and The Insecticide Rules, 1971 were set up to regulate the import, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of insecticides with a view to prevent risk to human beings or animals.
- The Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee was set up under the insecticides act to advise the central government on the manufacture of insecticides under the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 (65 of 1951), specify the uses of the classification of insecticides on the basis of their toxicity as well as their being suitable for aerial application and several related functions.
- One of the functions also includes clearly indicating the dosage and frequency of application, the potential harm caused, and approving the crops where the said pesticides can be applied.
- ThePesticide Action Network India released a report also said that labelling, recommended use and actual use of four pesticides (chlorpyrifos, fipronil, atrazine and paraquat dichloride) breached provisions of Insecticide Act, 1968 and Insecticide Rules 1971, as well as the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management.
- Apart from this, there are a few studies in India that show that pesticides, when indiscriminately and inappropriately applied to crops, may leach into the soil and into the groundwater, and run-off in the rain into surface water bodies, contaminating them.
- Pesticides settling in sediment and soil manage to find their way into water bodies, endangering aquatic life as well.