Pestilential high tech

Published: Friday 15 February 2002

probing the cotton crop failure in north Tamil Nadu during the last crop season, the central team has laid the blame on intensified production technologies that multiplied the pest problems in cotton. The team, which submitted its report to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (icar) , says that at least 162 species of insect pests attacked the crop. The report reveals that a whopping sum of Rs 1,600 crore was spent on pesticides alone annually.

While suggesting remedial measures for tackling pests in cotton crops, the team recommends a ban on the use of synthetic pyrethroids and reducing the spraying of monocrotophos and other broad spectrum pesticides.The report also calls for crop diversity so that farmers could cultivate other crops as well.

The document appeals to the state governments to evolve a system for restricting sub-standard pesticides. It suggests reorganisation of seed corporations for their effective functioning.

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