EU’s Endosulfan ban harmful for Indian farmers: Industry body

February 17th, 2011 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 17 (IANS) The European Union’s proposed ban on insecticide Endosulfan will force Indian farmers to buy expensive alternatives, the Pesticides Manufacturers and Formulators’ Association of India (PMFAI) said Thursday.PMFAI said that EU’s push to ban the insecticide will increase the cost of production manifold for Indian farmers and it will be difficult for them to make profits.

“While we are getting Endosulfan molecules at as low as Rs.270 per litre, alternative chemicals like Imida Chloropid are sold at more than Rs.1,800 per litre,” said R. Hariharan, chairman of the non-profit corporation International Stewardship Centre.

“Moreover, the alternatives are not a broad solution like Endosulfan. So a farmer will be forced to buy several high priced patented pesticides,” he said.

Almost 12 million litres of Endosulfan is used in India every year, with states like West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra consuming more than one million litres, he said.

A few years back, the EU started pushing for a ban on Endosulfan by proposing its listing as a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) at the Stockholm Convention. The decision on the proposal is due in April this year.

“Many of the farmers in the country are marginal. Most of them have very small landholdings. So it becomes difficult for them to use expensive pesticides,” said former West Bengal director of agriculture D. Konar.

PMFAI president Pradip Dave said: “We are talking to several stakeholders and trying to build awareness about the impact of the ban on Endosulfan. India has almost 70 percent share in the global Endosulfan market at present.”

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