The Punjab government has banned the sale and distribution of 10 insecticides for 60 days, starting August 1, so that good quality of Basmati rice with no residual effect can be produced. The insecticides include Acephate, Buprofezin, Chloropyriphos, Methamidophos, Propiconazole, Thiamethoxam, Profenofos, Isoprothiolane, Carbendazim, and Tricyclazole.
Special Chief Secretary (Development), Department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare issued the notification dated July 26 in this regard under sub-section (1) of section 27 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 (Central Act 46 of 1968) mentioning that the government is of the opinion that the sale, distribution or use of insecticides indicated in the list is not in the interest of Basmati rice growers.
The notification says that with the usage of such insecticides, there is a risk of higher pesticide residues than the Maximum Residual Level (MRL) fixed by the competent authority in the Basmati grains on account of the use of these agro-chemicals.
The notification says that the alternatives to the said insecticides, which are low in residue effect, are available in the market.
The Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association has reported that many samples tested by them contain the residue value of pesticides much above the MRL values. The Association requested for a ban on these agrochemicals to save the heritage produce, and to ensure hassle-free export of basmati to other countries, read the notification.
Ashok Sethi, Director of the Amritsar-based Punjab Rice Millers & Exporters Association, said that this ban is very crucial because several times the export orders get rejected only because of the presence of MRL beyond the permissible limits.
This article has been republished from The Indian Express