BATHINDA: The Punjab government has banned the use of 10 insecticides for two months to avoid its use on basmati crop in the state. Its usage was a constraint in the export of basmati rice .
Punjab agriculture minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal has issued directions aiming to make the basmati rice expiry worthy, a release by state government says.
It has been stated that the decision has been taken because use of these banned insecticides is not in the interest of basmati rice growers. The sale, stock and distribution of Acephate, Buprofezin, Chloropyriphos, Methamidophos, Propiconazole, Thiamethoxam, Profenofos, Isoprothiolane, Carbendazim Tricyclazole were being seen as potential constraint in export and consumption of rice, especially basmati rice.
These pesticides are banned in Punjab for a period of sixty days so that good quality basmati rice with no residual effect can be produced, stated Dhaliwal.
The agriculture minister said that as per the experts there is a risk of higher pesticide residues than maximum residual level (MRL) fixed by the competent authority in the basmati rice grains on account of use of these agrochemicals.
Dhaliwal also disclosed that the Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association has also reported that many samples got tested by them contain the residue value of these much above the MRL values in basmati rice. The association requested for ban of these agrochemicals to save the heritage basmati produce of Punjab, and to ensure hassle-free export of basmati rice to other countries.
The minister further said that the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has recommended alternative agrochemicals which are low in residue effect to control pests.
Agriculture experts, however, say that if these pesticides have such affect why not completely ban these and why ban only for two months, the use should be stopped permanently on any other crop.