The sale, distribution, and use of glyphosate products has been banned in the state of Kerala, India, according to an article for the news outlet manorama.com. “This is part of the state’s efforts to gradually phase out pesticide use in the state,” agriculture minister V. S. Sunil Kumar said in the Kerala Assembly.
Kerala University has been asked to submit a report within three months on the impact of glyphosate on the ecosystem of the state. With the ban on glyphosate, the number of pesticides banned in the state since 2011 has risen to 28.
According to rules, glyphosate can be used only in coffee plantations and lands that has not been cultivated. “But we have found that this is being used widely in paddy lands before planting is done. It is also being used to destroy the weeds around pineapple and plantain crops. This dangerous chemical is also used to destroy the grass that sprouts in between the inter-locking tiles laid upon house courtyards,” the minister said. A high-level meeting convened by the minister in January concluded that the unrestricted use of the weedkiller was highly damaging to a state rich in water sources.
Besides the ban on glyphosate, the minister also announced other steps to prevent the unbridled use of pesticides in the state. “The practice of pesticide companies and their agents approaching farmers and instructing them on the use of their products has also been banned,” the minister said.