Banned pesticides: TN govt orders surprise checks

After complaints of banned pesticides available in some districts, the Tamil Nadu Agriculture Department has formed special squads to conduct surprise checks. The state agriculture department had issued a circular of December 12, 2022, banning the sale and use of six pesticides based on the directive from the Centre. These pesticides, according to the Centre, were used by many people for committing suicide and hence it was banned from being used in the agricultural fields and farms. Fertilizer shops were directed to stop sale and distribution of these pesticides under the Insecticide Act 1986 and the Insecticide Rules of 1971. The farmers of Tiruppur, Pudukottai and Salem districts complained that chemicals like monocrotophos — one among the six banned pesticides in Tamil Nadu — was being widely used in these areas. According to the farmers, the banned product was reaching the hands of gullible farmers through online sale. Satyamoorthy K., a farmer in Salem while speaking to IANS said, “The monocrotophos is widely used here in coconut farms and this helps the farmers to wade off the attack by white flies.” However, he said that in Pollachi, Kangeyam and Uudmulpet farmers in large numbers were using the banned pesticide.