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India Do Not Use Excessive Crop Protection Chemicals

Global production of major crops has increased significantly and it is somehow driven by plant science innovations like pest control products

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


According to research study by all India coordinated programme on crop protection chemical residues, DAC and World Bank it has been proven that crop protection chemicals are not excessively used in India.

Global production of major crops has increased significantly and it is somehow driven by plant science innovations like pest control products. World population is increasing everyday but the land remaining for agrarian use remains constant. Hence it has become increasingly important for farmers to able to do sustainably use the agriculture land for increasing production.

If we compare with other countries, India’s spend on crop protection countries is $2.5 billion, which is just 0.8 per cent of total agrarian production. It means that India and China’s per dollar spend on crop protection chemicals stand at $126, which is far higher than that in countries like US and Brazil. Indian farmers may be termed as using crop protection chemicals in a more efficient way with a better generation of agricultural produce.

In recent past there had been regular claims that suggests about excessive use of chemicals by Indian farmers for plant protection. The given data makes this claim doubtful; the data above suggests that India uses fewer chemicals than many of the developed nations and other emerging economies of the world. It is evident that China has got less arable area (106 million hectare) than India (155 million hectare).

There is an irony; on one hand it is claimed that Indian farmers has lack of funds to buy modern inputs for crop support, whereas on other hand they are being blamed for the use of excessive agro-chemicals, which are subsidised but still moderately expensive.

This table eradicates a myth that food commodities are non-edible due to high chemical content (leaving few regions, which can’t be blamed for overall national production). 98 per cent of food commodities in the table comes below or comply with the limits prescribed by FSSAI’s fix benchmarks for crop protection chemical residue. All of the samples were collected from across the nation and has been tested in FSSAI authorised labs.

This interesting figure suggests that our chemical residue MRL’s are in line with global residue. India’s compliance status find in chemical residues for food commodities is far lower than US, Brazil and if we consider no of samples than we are only behind European Union. It can’t be denied that whatever chemical had been found may impact health and up to which extent is an issue of debate.

Network coordinator of Indian Agriculture Research Institute, KK Sharma says, “Environmentalists, traditionalists as well as wellness advisers seem to believe that pesticides are dispensable, which means they do not look at them as crop protection chemical”. Many researches had proven it time and again that our MRL is better than US and UK like nations. These chemicals are saving more than 20-30 per cent of our crop yields. But one has to use them wisely like we use antibiotics.

Tags assigned to this article:
world bank agrarian production Crop Protection fssai