The government's thrust on organic farming, wherein biopesticides have a major role to play, will not just ensure chemical-free food but also increase the prospects of agricultural exports, a crop protection expert said on Thursday.
"There is no proper guidance on the use of pesticides. Many toxic pesticides, banned in other countries, are being used by Indian farmers. There have been a lot of deaths on this count," Peter told IANS.
"Biopesticides are on the other hand safe -- There are no health hazards involved."
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), as many as 7,060 persons died in 2015 due to accidental intake of insecticides/pesticides. The number was 1,624 for food poisoning the same year.
Peter said he had so far published over 100 scientific papers on biological pest control, agrochemicals and plant protection.
"There is a good demand for India agricultural commodities like grapes and coffee. These (foreign) countries are strict about pesticide residue levels. If they find it worrying, they reject our exports. To avoid such a situation, biopesticides will be of great help," he said.
There is even scope for the export of biopesticides as the government has been encouraging their production and promotion, the expert said.
The share of biopesticides use was just five per cent at present and it is expected to reach 10 per cent in 10 years.
"The government is giving encouragement. It is all set to replace chemical pesticides with biopesticides. It has made the registration process simple and offered subsidies as it wants farmers to go for safer crop protection practices," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)