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Biopesticides can ensure safe food, increased exports: Scientist

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The government's thrust on organic farming, wherein have a major role to play, will not just ensure but also increase the prospects of agricultural exports, a crop protection expert said on Thursday.

Bangalore-based said there was no proper guidelines on the use of and insecticides, which had caused many deaths in the country.

"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.

"are on the other hand safe -- There are no health hazards involved."

According to the (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.

The concerns raised by the US and over higher levels of residues can be addressed by biopesticides, he said.

"There is a good demand for agricultural commodities like grapes and coffee. These (foreign) countries are strict about residue levels. If they find it worrying, they reject our exports. To avoid such a situation, 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.

However, the government schemes like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and awareness about can bring good news for biopesticides, which are safe and free, Peter said.

"The government is giving encouragement. It is all set to replace 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.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 18:36 IST