Chandigarh, August 13:
The Punjab Government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has issued directions to stop the sale, stock and distribution of some insecticides on Basmati crop in the state which were a constraint in the export of Basmati Rice. Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal who had already issued strict directions to the officials of the Agriculture Department to keep a vigil on the sale of duplicate and substandard pesticides and take necessary strict action against such practices, has said that now these directions have been issued in the interest of farmers to make their Basmati Rice export worthy.
Divulging the details the Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said that this decision is taken because use of banned insecticides is not in the interest of Basmati rice growers. He said that the sale, stock distribution and use of insecticides namely: Acephate, Buprofezin, Chloropyriphos, Methamidophos, Propiconazole Thiamethoxam, Profenofos, Isoprothiolane, Carbendazim Tricyclazole were being potential constraint in export and consumption of rice, especially Basmati rice. ‘The above-mentioned pesticides are banned in Punjab for a period of sixty days so that good quality basmati rice with no residual effect can be produced, added Dhaliwal.
The Agriculture Minister said that as per the experts there is a risk of higher pesticide residues than Maxium Residual Level (MRL) fixed by the competent authority in the basmati rice grains on account of use of these agro-chemicals.
Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal has also disclosed that the Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association has also reported that many samples got tested by them contain the residue value of these much above the MRL values in Basmati Rice. The Association requested for ban of these agrochemicals to save the heritage Basmati produce of Punjab, and to ensure hassle free export of basmati rice to other countries.
Punjab Agriculture Minister further said that the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Ludhiana has recommended alternative agrochemicals which are low in residue effect to control pests of basmati rice are available in the market.