Non Pesticidal Management: learning from experiences (2009)
G.V. Ramanjaneyulu,M.S. Chari, T.A.V.S. Raghunath, Zakir Hussain and Kavitha Kuruganti
in Integrated Pest Management:: Innovation-Development Process, edited by Rajendra Peshin and Ashok Dhawan
The deep crisis affecting the farming community in India largely escapes the imagination of the urban population. It might be because food production is almost completely delinked here from food consumption. Food is seen as a commodity which can be bought over the counter, with quality assured by the tag of the supermarket or a popular brand. The ecological footprint that such food production and supply chains leave is largely ignored or not understood. The distress experienced by food producing communities is invisible. Consumers also tend to ignore the implications on themselves flowing from (lack of) food safety.,
As citizens and as consumers of food, we never relate ourselves to the farming community and always carry a feeling that the technology, policies and regulatory systems related agriculture are the concern of the farmers.
This report is the result of a pilot study on ‘Pesticides, Residues and Regulation in India’. It is an attempt to break the apathy and ignorance of consumers through the analysis of how pesticides and pesticide residues in food are regulated in India and the potential implications on urban consumers.
With a lot of effort from civil society groups and concerned activists, there is now a shift towards production that is not dependent on chemicals. Concern over the health implications of toxic pesticides has also prompted some people to shift towards organically grown foods.
On the other hand, governments, agricultural research and extension system and the chemical industry continue to believe in the ‘inevitability of pesticides’ and continue to talk only about safer pesticides, safe use of pesticides, better regulatory systems etc. The issue of pesticide residues receives some attention only when the export consignments are rejected or studies on soft drinks or bottled water are released. The larger issues of food safety for consumers and sustainable resource management for producers are largely ignored. Working backwards, we tried to look at how pesticide residues in food are regulated in India, how pesticides themselves are regulated, recommended, the institutions involved & their functioning etc. The study used both primary and secondary data for its analysis.
Our research shows several objectionable gaps and lapses in the regulatory systems, several contradictions even at the conceptual level and gross negligence with regard to assessing and promoting safer and better alternatives.
This pilot study is part of the Sustainable Hyderabad ‘Megacity Project’. ( http://www.sustainable-hyderabad.in).
Supported extended by farmers around Hyderabad city and other experts is gratefully acknowledged.
Download the Report The Story of Bt Cotton in India and in Andhra Pradesh
The Bt Cotton was introduced in 2002 with much hype about its performance in addressing the problems faced by the farmers. Three years later, field experiences show that there were erratic processes and results.
The report is based on the field experiences of bt cotton farmers.
Aftermath: The report was presented to GEAC on 4th February, 2005. GEAC based on the data and feedback from the state government has withdrawn the permission given for commercial cultivation of the three Bt cotton hybrids MECH 12 Bt, MECH 162 Bt, MECH 184 Bt.
Mr. RaghuMinister for Agriculture, Government of AP visited punukula on 23rd November, 2004 to discuss personally understand how punukula made a shift to Non Pesticidal Management and farmers got benefited.
Download the Report 121123 Agriculture Minister visit to Punukula
Debunking the popular belief that chemical pesticides reduce pest problem, a small village Punukula, proved that moving away from pesticides is the only way to get out of chemical pesticides. A village which has shown the way to the entire country how Non Pesticidal Management can help farmers to get of pesticide trap.
Download the report 2004 No Pests No Pesticides