20 September 2010

Pesticide Usage in India

Recently, I was asked to look into the role of agri-chemicals on food security. While looking into data I observed the continuous decline of pesticide/insecticide usage since 1990s. I had heard about this sometime ago from Dr Keshav Raj Kranthi, Director, Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur and to clarify my doubt I called him up. He had ready reference and the data in his fingertips. He told that in 1990 the pesticide usage had reached to around 70,000 tonne and that was also the year when Integrated Pest Management (IPM) started and by 1994 the usage had come down to around 60,000 tonne and we also moved to Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM) and then in 2002 we started with Bt Cotton (which was effective for American Bollworm) and the usage of pesticide further reduced to around 40,000 tonne by 2006, the year when sucking pest started becoming a problem and in recent years there might have been slight increases in pesticide usage.

Courtesy: Personal telephonic communication with Dr Kranthi, who has also received the International Cotton Researcher of the Year in 2009.
The figures have also been tallied with indiastat.

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