The four day long National Agrochemicals Congress with the theme ‘Country’s Status on Various Fronts of Agrochemicals’ concluded in New Delhi yesterday. The plenary sessions had deliberations on issues and concerns of Agrochemicals for sustainable farming. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had inaugurated the event on 13 October, praising small farmers and saying that there is an urgent need to shift focus from sustainable production to sustainable agri-food systems keeping in mind the climatic conditions and water conservation aspects of the country.
Recommendations from the Congress included labelling of pesticides indicating the mode of action, reviewing the country’s preparedness in invasive exigencies, to rethink the restrictive banning of pesticides in view of risk based considerations, analysing the policy regarding data protection of imported technical pesticides, as well as the policy for introduction of safe nano-formulations, and empowerment of farmers through training and extension.
In the concluding session, Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member of NITI Ayog, outlined the importance of responsible use of agrochemicals utilising precision technologies to reduce wastage of applied chemicals into environments. Chand advised the stakeholders to discourage false claims about agrochemicals and tackle the spread of their incorrect public perception. He exhorted agrochemicals scientists and microbiologists to work on chemical and microbial interventions to transform biomass waste into usable wealth.
Addressing the session, DG India Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Trilochan Mohapatra, said that agrochemicals will continue to play a major role in agriculture to meet crop production targets, and that we must strive to ensure their safe and judicious use. He requested scientists to work comprehensively upon the nano-pesticide approach to ensure the safety of humans, livestock, and the environment.
Speaking at the session, Ashok Dalwai, CEO of the National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA), said that there is a need for reorientation in the thought process of society with regard to agrochemicals, and that experts have a big role in this exercise. He emphasized the liberalization of registration procedures, enforcement of regulations at state level, and access to technical pesticides.
This was the first ever National Agrochemicals Congress and the next conference will be conducted after three years. The Congress is conducted in view of the role chemical pesticides still continue to play in pest management as more and more target specific and environment friendly products are introduced.
The benefits of pesticide use are high relative to their risks. New concepts in crops, human health, resource management, nanotechnology, smart formulations and related sciences are likely to boost agricultural productivity. With this background, the current status of agrochemicals on various fronts have been collated for researchers and policy makers in order to ensure agriculture grow in a sustainable manner.