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Indian fruit growers demand counterfeit pesticides ban

In the Baramulla district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, fruit growers and horticulturists protested Sunday 29 May against the governments alleged apathy towards the horticulture sector. The government is accused of directing the farmers to use certain types of pesticides, which they then discover are counterfeit, hence the government is not sufficiently checking the chemicals.

Talking to reporters, convener Jammu and Kashmir Fruit Growers Forum, Adv Irfan Hafeez, said the government has failed fruit growers in checking the sale of counterfeit pesticides in the market.

“Every year, the government authorities inform fruit growers about a particular pesticide only to brand it as counterfeit next year. This year again, we have been directed to spray at least 22 pesticides on our orchards, which is too costly,” said Hafeez, adding that horticulture was the backbone of the state’s economy and that 70% of people were directly or indirectly dependent on it. 

He said that in absence of any testing laboratory to check the authenticity of pesticides, the growers are forced to use pesticide available in the market. “There are hundreds of companies making these pesticides in Jammu and Kashmir, and government has failed to clear the air as which pesticide is fake or not,” added Hafeez. He said the growers who lost horticulture land and apple orchards in the 2014 floods were yet to receive any compensation from the government.

Source: kashmirreader.com

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