The Punjab government has banned the use of 10 insecticides for the basmati crops as the agrochemicals were becoming a constraint in the export of the aromatic rice.
The state government has issued directions to stop the sale, stock, and distribution of insecticides -- Acephate, Buprofezin, Chloropyriphos, Methamidophos, Propiconazole, Thiamethoxam, Profenofos, Isoprothiolane, Carbendazim, Tricyclazole, said Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal in a statement.
These insecticides were a potential constraint in the export and consumption of rice, especially basmati rice, the minister said. “The above-mentioned pesticides are banned in Punjab for a period of sixty days so that good quality basmati rice with no residual effect can be produced,” added Dhaliwal.
This decision is taken because the use of these insecticides is not in the interest of basmati rice growers, the minister asserted. He said as per the experts, there is a risk of higher pesticide residues than the maximum residual level (MRL) fixed by the competent authorities in the basmati rice on account of the use of these agrochemicals.
Dhaliwal also disclosed that the Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association has also reported that many samples got tested by them contain the residue value of these much above the MRL values in basmati rice.
The association requested a ban on these agrochemicals to save the heritage Basmati produce of Punjab and to ensure hassle-free export of basmati rice to other countries. The minister further said Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana has recommended alternative agrochemicals which are low in residue effect.