Expressing concern over crop losses of at least ₹8 lakh crore annually due to pests and diseases, leading agrochemical firm Dhanuka Group Chairman R G Agarwal today said that there is a need to promote the judicious use of genuine pesticides by farmers and curb sales of counterfeit products in the market.
He said the productivity of various crops can be enhanced significantly by reducing production loss from pests and diseases.
Agarwal said the rampant sale of counterfeit pesticides in Indian agriculture is one of the major factors for production loss and lower crop yield than the global average.
Citing an international study, the Dhanuka Agritech chairman pointed out that the share of illegal pesticides is estimated at 10-25 per cent of the total $80 billion global pesticides market.
In India as well, Agarwal said that sales of fake, counterfeit, duplicate and mis-branded products are hampering the growth of the domestic agrochemicals industry.
“This illegal parallel market of agrichemicals is impacting farmers, industry, government, and environment,” he said adding that soil fertility gets severely affected because of the use of counterfeit pesticides.
Agarwal called for stringent action against culprits to protect the interest of all stakeholders.
He suggested that the central government should launch a national drive, in coordination with all States and Union Territories, to crack down on illicit trade. Parallelly, a national campaign should be run to create awareness among farmers about ill-effects of the use of counterfeit products.
The industry will be more than willing to join in these national campaigns to cleanse this menace, he assured.
“There are many ghost companies involved in the illegal practice of selling fake, adulterated, misbranded, and counterfeit agrochemicals. There should be action against them,” Agarwal said.
He advised farmers to take proper bills when they purchase pesticides.
On its part, Agarwal said that the company has launched ‘Jago Kisan Jago’, an initiative to educate farmers about the perils of counterfeit products and ways to overcome them.
Amid the rising population, the Chairman noted that farm production needs to be increased to ensure the country’s food security
Farmers should get good quality inputs such as seed, fertilisers and pesticides at a reasonable rates to improve productivity and production of crops.
Agarwal also stressed that Indian agriculture needs to adopt the latest technologies that can aid in reducing input costs and improving output.
He highlighted that drones are being used in agriculture field for various activities including spraying of pesticides, but felt that it should be promoted in a big way through public private partnership.