Ensure good agriculture practices to reduce residue levels
The 30th Annual Review Meeting of All India Network Project on Pesticide Residues (AINP on PR) was organised at Dr. YS Parmar, University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni. The members of the 18 centers on AINP on PR currently operating from different parts of the country are participating in the two-day meeting. Professor Rajeshwar Singh Chandel, Vice-Chancellor was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Dr. TR Sharma, DDG Crop Science and Dr. SC Dubey, ADG Plant Protection and Biosafety attended the meeting online.
The project aims to develop protocols for the safe use of pesticides by recommending good agricultural practices, based on the multi-locational supervised field trial. The data is also used for the fixation of Maximum Residue Limits (MRL’s) at the national and international levels. It advises on proper safe waiting periods and pre-harvest intervals so that the residues in food commodities remain well within the prescribed safe limits.
Director Research Dr. Ravinder Sharma welcomed the participants and shed light on the importance of the work done by the different centres under this project.
Addressing the gathering Prof. Chandel said, “Even though the country was ranked low in the average use of pesticides, it was time that we need to have a relook at this average. The Prime Minister has on various occasions stressed on the need to find an alternative solution to chemical-based farming, as the current technique has depleted the quality of soil and water.”
Lauding the work done by the 18 centers across India in generating quality data for ensuring food safety, Professor Chandel suggested increasing the samples of milk from Himachal for analysis through students as the feed was largely coming from other states. He further suggested that the centers under AINP on PR should enlarge their areas of research under the mandate of the ICAR and the project and collect samples from the fields of farmers practicing natural farming to study the residue analysis.
Prof. Chandel added that unauthorized pesticides and mixed compounds posed a big challenge as farmers are applying different chemicals in a short period. He called upon the scientists to align their work with future challenges and work in convergence with other departments.
During the workshop, Dr. Vandana Tripathy, Network Coordinator of AINP on PR presented the overall achievement and progress report of the scheme. She highlighted the significance and impact of the pesticide residue project on food safety, food security and the trade in the country. She informed that the data generated under the project in different agro-climatic zones of the country is being utilized for the approval of registration of new pesticides by CIBRC for their use by the farmers in the country.
In their address, both Dr. TR Sharma and Dr. SC Dubey advocated the need to follow good agricultural practices to ensure low MRL in order to ensure food safety, security and enhance trade in this sector. Dr. Sharma was of the view that even though pesticide usage was among the lowest in the world, the non-judicious and use of non-recommended chemicals is a major challenge that needs to be addressed. He lauded the AINP on PR for revenue generation through collaborative studies and having 13 NABL accredited labs under its system.
Four publications were also released: AINP on Pesticide Residues, Solan center at a glance and Safe use of Pesticides by Dr. JK Dubey, Dr. Sapna Katna, Dr. Ajay Sharma; Safe and Judicious use of pesticides on Okra and Safe and Judicious use of pesticides on Tomato by Dr. KK Sharma and Dr. Vandana Tripathy. Dr. JK Dubey, Principal Investigator AINP on PR, UHF Nauni presented the vote of thanks.
A condolence message for Dr. Balwinder Singh, Principal Investigator AINP on PR at Punjab Agricultural University, who passed away last month was also read on the occasion. Dr. PK Chakrabarty, Former ADG and Member ASRB, Dr. KK Sharma, Former National Coordinator AINP on PR, Dr. Ravinder Sharma, Director Research, Dr. Divender Gupta, Director Extension Education and all the statutory officers and Heads of the department were present at the meeting.