Clear doubts about agro-chemicals in minds of small and marginal farmers: Govt to industry

New Delhi, Nov 14 () Pesticides and agro-chemicals have also played a role in boosting India's agriculture output but the industry should take steps to clear "doubts" about their usage and benefits especially in the minds of small and marginal farmers who comprise 86 per cent of the farm sector, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Thursday.

He noted that the stakeholders in the agro-chemicals industry and pesticides are currently working in "isolation" and urged them to work with an holistic approach to address the future challenges in the agriculture in the backdrop of climate change concerns.

"Agro-chemicals have its own benefits. It has benefited our agriculture. Pesticides too have its own advantages. It has definitely helped in improving the farm output. However due to lack of communication and awareness, doubts about such products still prevail in the minds of farmers," Tomar said after inaugurating the first ever National Agrochemicals Congress here.

Many times farmers' belief is these products get affected because of "fake people" working in this sector, he said.

"Despite transparency, farmers still have doubts. Some forces take advantage of these doubts. Many times, it is discussed in Parliament on ill effects of pesticides and cancer being caused due to use of agro-chemicals. When it is discussed in Parliament, some people tend to believe," he added.

Stressing on the need to create awareness about the usage and benefits of agro-chemicals, Tomar said the agro-chemicals have its role to play in facing the future challenge of meeting the food requirement of growing population.

The country is self-sufficient in foodgrains now. But there is a need to change the "sowing pattern" keeping in mind the climate change and adopt new technologies and products to further increase the farm output, he said.

"In this, chemicals have its role. This role should be played properly. Awareness should be created among farmers," Tomar said.

Normally, education training is focused on medium and large farmers who play an important role from production point of view. But the efforts should be put in to take new products to small and marginal farmers who comprise of 86 per cent of the farm sector, he said.

The event was organised in view of the relevance of chemical pesticides still continue to play in pest management as more and more target specific and environment friendly products are being introduced. LUX MKJ
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