January 24, 2012 admin


LUDHIANA, JANUARY 23 : Pesticides have made great impact on human health, production and preservation of food, fiber and other cash crops by controlling insect-pests, diseases, vectors of viruses and by keeping in check many species of unwanted organisms. Expressing these views, Dr Balwinder Singh, Head, Department of Entomology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), said that although various methods are used to control pests in different pest management systems, yet pesticides continue to be the major component of most of the pest control programme and will probably remain so in the near future. He has cautioned the farmers, “the excessive, indiscriminate and unregulated use of pesticides has led to new pest problems and has resulted in the presence of pesticide residues in the food chain and environment.”
The PAU is monitoring pesticide residues in the different components of the environment since 1976, told he, while highlighting that the decline in pesticide residues can be attributed to the innovative technologies developed by the PAU. Dr Singh revealed, “Compared to pesticide consumption of 7200 MT of technical grade material in 2001-02, the consumption has declined to 5800 MT in 2010-11.” The propagation of integrated pest management (IPM) approach has helped in the reduction of pesticide use, especially, on cotton, basmati, rice and maize crops. The use of non-chemical methods such as cultural, mechanical, physical and biological control methods developed by the PAU to control insect-pests of major crops, also helped in the reduction of pesticide use, expressed he.
Advising the farmers about the safe handling and judicious use of pesticides, Dr Singh emphasized that pesticides should be used when necessary. Assess the pest population and use pesticides only when potential damage by the pests is likely to result in economic loss. The PAU has strong network for forecasting of pests and monitoring of pesticide use, told he, while stressing that the pesticides should be used according to the recommended guidelines. With the introduction of Bt cotton, there has been significant decrease in the use of pesticides, observed he. The university has recommended new pesticides which are very effective at low dosages and leave very little residues in the environment, divulged Dr Singh. He said that the PAU is also promoting use of bio-control agents in crops like sugarcane, maize, paddy and vegetables so as to reduce the reliance on chemical pesticides. Remarking that the university regularly organizes educational programmes, seminars, publicity campaigns, radio and TV talk and Kisan Melas to create awareness among the farmers, he impressed upon them to make safe and judicious use of pesticides and called upon them to participate in large number in the upcoming Kisan Melas, scheduled to take place in March.

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