Amid a long-lasting debate on the do and don’t of pesticides, the central government has decided to encourage and promote safer use of pesticides. Keeping this in mind, the bill seeking to promote safe and effective pesticides will be introduced in the current session of Parliament, the government said on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting.
“The new draft bill is aimed at protecting the interest of the farmers so that they get safe and effective pesticides. Farmers would be empowered to get all information regarding the available pesticides, their strengths, weaknesses, and risks from the dealers they choose to purchase the pesticide from”, said environment minister Prakash Javadekar after the Union cabinet approved the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020.
As per reports, the bill seeks to replace the existing Insecticide Act, 1968, which the government said is “age-old and needs immediate re-writing”. It comes against the backdrop of rising concern over the need to protect farmers from spurious and sub-standard pesticides, along with the need to assess their potential effects on the health of people and that of the environment.
A person who wants to import, manufacture, or export pesticides would have to register under the new bill and provide all details regarding any claims, expected performance, efficacy, safety, usage instructions, and infrastructure available to stock that pesticide. The information will also include details on the pesticide’s potential effects on the environment.
“The bill also has a provision to provide compensation if there is any farm loss because of low quality or spurious pesticides. The penalty collected from the manufactures/dealers and funds put in by the government would be used to form a central fund,” said Javadekar.
“All the information regarding the available pesticides would be available in the public domain, in all languages in digital format, so that farmers can make the right decision on their use, the minister added.
Source: Agropages