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Improper and overuse of insecticides proving harmful
11
Dec '15
Francesca Mancini speaking at 74th Plenary meeting of ICAC
Francesca Mancini speaking at 74th Plenary meeting of ICAC
In the wake of growing concern over the use of hazardous pesticides in cotton cultivation, researchers and scientists at the Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) in Mumbai have pointed that many insecticide problems aren't caused by the chemicals themselves, but rather by their improper use by farmers who need to be educated on this count.

Farmers who apply the wrong chemicals at the wrong time exacerbate the problem. Great strides could be made toward reducing the amount of insecticides used, and increasing their efficacy, through education of growers, they said at a technical seminar, titled,Elimination of Insecticides from Cotton Production: Is This Possible?

“Fortunately, we don't necessarily need to completely eradicate the use of all insecticides to do a lot of good," said Francesca Mancini, a pest and pesticide specialist with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“The elimination of HHPs [highly hazardous pesticides] from cotton production would contribute enormously to reducing risks to the environment and human health," she said at the seminar which was part of the Sixth Open Sessionof the 74th Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), in Mumbai on December 10.

While the boll weevil has historically been cotton's biggest arch enemy, there are multiple secondary pests that continue to drive insecticide use, including the whitefly in Pakistan and India. This year, as much as two-third of the cotton crop in Punjab suffered damage from a whitefly outbreak.

With so much at stake, the use – and sometimes overuse – of insecticides is understandable, as farmers do everything they can to protect their livelihood. Globally, more than $15 billion was spent on various insecticides in 2013.

One such approach, they suggested,was the integrated pest management (IPM) which encourages theuse of natural pest control measures that ensure the production of healthy crop without harming the environment. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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