शनिबार, बैशाख १, २०८१

Pesticides Dismay in Nepal

badri-khana finellThe most pathetic situation comes when people fright with food. Consumers are in great consternation and bewildered to use agricultural products (mostly vegetables and fruits) available in nearby market. This is due to vegetables are found to have laced with chemical pesticides in recent test and replication of news on public media. Excessive use of chemical pesticides for higher production has created serious human health threats. The effect of which is equally visible in producers as well as consumers. Increased cases of cancer, diseases of kidney and liver are evidences of this. In one hand, we are importing harmful chemicals without any restriction; in another hand, due to improper use of pesticides, products are harvested immediately after spraying pesticides and dispatched to the market. Use of unregistered and restricted pesticides has increased by many folds, given that pesticides have to formally register before. General people are being victim this.
The report by recently established Pesticide Residue Rapid Analysis laboratory in Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market proves it. Among the total 187 samples of vegetables tested, 155 are found to have safe for human consumption, 6 having excessive pesticide (has to wait many days before consumption) and 26 (14%) of which is found to have laced with health hazardous chemical residue. According to World Health Organization Standards, those pesticides having >5000 ml in systematic pesticides and >5000 mg in contact pesticides are safe for human health based on the Lethal Dose (LD) 50 in Rat (mg per Kg of body weight). Different restricted pesticides like DDT. BHC, Endosulphan, Methyl Parathion and Monocrotophus etc. are still in Nepalese market. Most of these pesticides have been restricted more than 10 years ago. This may be due to lacking strong monitoring and punishment to relevant dealers and agro-vets. Similarly, those pesticides that are not registered to use in Nepal are also excessively used due to open boarder and easy excess to Indian market.
Government of Nepal and its capillaries are not taking it seriously, though, it has directly affected human health and large amount of money is wasted for this. In a step, government of Nepal has restricted farmers of eight different districts to sell their products in Kathmandu market. This is not a long-term solution it may rather affect the commercialization of agriculture in days to come. There are many options for improvement. Different traps, pheromones and biological pesticides have been developed to control the pests. Traps like light trap, phenol trap, yellow sticky trap and pit fall traps are successfully practiced by increasing number of farmers. Different pheromones or lures are also available in Nepalese market major being Methyl Euginal, Helli lure, Pectino lure, Culear and DBM/Protula lure etc.
In recent days, use of biopesticide has been increased. Biopesticides like Ajadirectous, VarticeliumLekani, Nuclear PolyhydorsisViruses(NPV), Entomopathogenic Nematode, TrichodermaViridi&Harjanium, BacilousThurangenesisKustaki and Pseudomonous Florescence are popular biopesticides. The use of these methods has to increase to have a win win situation. The losses from pest will be control in one hand and in another hand; detrimental effects of chemical pesticides on consumers are reduced. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a very useful technique to control insects, diseases, weeds, rodents and other pests. In this method, priority is given for pest resistant varieties and cultural, physical and mechanical techniques to control the pests. Many biological control methods like use of parasites, bacteria, fungus, Viruses (NPV) and nematodes are used. Further step is use of chemical attractants and use of indigenous local techniques. If the pest is not controlled then different hormones like Aaplor are used. Up to this, the chances of controlling pest are very high, but if pests are not controlled then safe chemical pesticides are applied carefully. In the cases, farmers have to use chemical pesticides, those safe pesticides having > 501 mg/Kg of harmful chemical content for LD 50, have to use to reduce the health hazard.
Therefore, these activities, mostly use of excessive dose of chemical pesticides and immediate harvest after the spray have to be discouraged and uses of alternatives to chemical pesticides have to encourage. On the top of that, policies and acts have to develop and implemented and different useful information dissemination to users of pesticide and consumer of the product has to be followed immediately. Otherwise, nation has to loss huge resources, productive labors and economic growth and people has to suffer from many diseases and deformities in near future. -Badri Khanal (Agri Economist)

प्रकाशित मिति: शुक्रबार, साउन २३, २०७१