வெங்காய ஏறியவுடன் குய்யோ முய்யோ என்று அரசு அலறி அடித்து இறக்குமதி செய்ய துணியும் போது, வெண்டைக்காய் விலை வீழ்ச்சி அடைந்து விடும் போது அந்த வெண்டைக்காய்களை அதை உற்பத்தி செய்யும் குடியானவர்களை கண்டுகொள்வதில்லை. வெங்காய விலையால் விவசாயிதான் பயன் அடையட்டுமே.
Apart from registration and other regulatory functions that flow out of the Insecticides Act in
concept called Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) is also part of the regulation, as
quantitative limits set up by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
(FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. It is worth noting
that for the longest time, registrations at the Agriculture Ministry were
happening independent of MRLs being set up by the Health Ministry. To this day,
MRLs have not been set up for all uses for which particular pesticides have
been registered. India
It is also bewildering to see that MRLs (an indicator for correct use of pesticides as argued by many) set up by the Health Ministry rest a lot on Good Agriculture Practices being followed by farmers, a constituency on which the Health Ministry has no control or interface with!
However, what is important interesting to note is that MRLs or compliance to the same may not actually ensure safety. Why is this so? Two reasons: One, Indian MRLs have not been fixed keeping the theoretical maximum daily intake of pesticides (TMDI, a more cumulative measure than MRL for each product, which in turn requires assessments like a
The general belief that the mainstream agriculture establishment holds (probably flowing from the flawed agriculture education system itself) is that pesticides are indispensable. This would be evident in the response to be seen from the industry and the agricultural establishment (research, extension and other fronts) on INDIA FOR SAFE FOOD MOVEMENT too. They will argue with Malthusian convictions that there would be hunger and starvation without these poisons and it is better to feed toxic food than to feed nothing at all! They would do so despite the fact that
had officially adopted IPM (Integrated Pest Management) as its main policy
approach to plant/crop protection way back in 1985. The lack of political will
is reflected in some pesticides not being banned, the pathetic outreach figures
through FFS (Farmer Field Schools to promote IPM approach amongst cultivators),
IPM not being made an integral part of Package of Practices for all crops for
all extension work around the country, the pesticide consumption not decreasing
in volume or value, the number of export consignments that get rejected etc.
While IPM seeks to reduce pesticide usage by asking for the synthetic chemical to be used only as a last resort when Economic Threshold Level (ETL) of a pesticide is reached, several other technological approaches including NPM and organic farming have successfully managed to eliminate the usage of pesticides in agriculture.
Taking these latter approaches (NPM/Organic/Zero-Budget/Ecological/Natural) to farmers and supporting them to shift their farming practices (including cropping patterns) is the only real and lasting way of ensuring that our food and environment are not contaminated by poisons called pesticides.