(For private circulation only)

Friday December 15, 2017

The dangerous misuse of pesticides in Jharkhand >kj[k.M esa dhVuk'd nokvksa dk Hk;kog bLrseky (this write-up translated also into Hindi is available in the blog dated November 22, 2017)

Disum Sakam: 20171215 T-04/5

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study of chemical pesticide use by 25 farmers in Ranchi’s Bero block was carried out in August-September 2017 by the NGO Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD). Bero, a part of Jharkhand’s major vegetable-growing belt, has the longest experience with chemical-input farming in Jharkhand state, and supplies fresh produce to cities like Ranchi and Kolkata. Yet how safe is this produce to eat?

Sharat Singh and Dr. Joe Hill harvesting. The pesticide manufacturers and shopkeepers deliberately ignore these rules, to make profit. The government of Jharkhand has failed to regulate the sale of pesticide, and thus farmers and consumers are suffering the consequences. One example shows how serious this

The interviewed farmers know nothing about the chemical pesticides they are using. Farmers go to shopkeepers (input An Oraon farmer displays the pesticides she and her husband have applied dealers), explain their problem, and buy problem is. Though cotton is not grown in whichever pesticide the shopkeeper Bero or Jharkhand these days, insecticides recommends. Farmers are unaware that a approved for use only on cotton are sold to law exists in India, called the Insecticides Act, farmers by shopkeepers. Six such pesticides 1968. were found to be used in Bero: According to the Insecticides Act, 1968, the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) gives approval for the use of pesticides on specific crops, and the waiting periods that should be observed between spraying/application and

1. Acephate 50% + Imidacloprid 1.8% SP, sold under the trade name Lancer Gold has been applied to chilli in Bero block by one of the farmers.

Disum sakam: http://disumsakam.blogspot.in/2017/12/the-dangerous-misuse-of-pesticides-in.html

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2. Alphacypermethrin 10% EC, sold as Alpha Plus, has been used by two of the farmers on bodi (long beans), bottle gourd, chilli and on mango trees

In East Singhbhum’s Potka block, one Santhal farmer was found to be using ‘Roket’ pesticide (Profenofos 40% + Cypermethrin 4% EC) on bhendi, brinjal and tomato. The shopkeeper had sold it to him, and he had not read the label. The farmer had no idea that the pesticide was only for use on cotton. Alphacypermethrin

3. Chlorpyrifos 16% + Alphacypermethrin 1% EC sold as Dangal and Anth Super, was used by four farmers on cucumber, tomato, peas, shimla mircha, potato, cauliflower, paddy, brinjal and beans 4. Emamectin Benzoate 1.9% EC, manufactured under the trade name Billo was applied to brinjal

5. Ethion 40% + Cypermethrin 5% EC, sold under the trade names Spider and Ananda, has been applied to okra, brinjal, tomato and cauliflower by two of the surveyed farmers 6. Profenofos 40% + Cypermethrin 4% EC sold under brand names License 99, Minister, Panther, Terror Super and Maxcron Super, has been used on cabbage, cauliflower, beans and paddy

He also uses the fungicide ‘Sixer’ (Carbendazim 12% + Mancozeb 63% WP) on tomato, because the NGO PRADAN’s staff had told him to do so 12 years ago. Yet ‘Sixer’ is approved for use on groundnut, paddy, tea, potato, grapes and mango – not tomato or vegetables.

In India 18 pesticides have been classified as extremely or highly hazardous, and many of these have been banned in other countries. At least four of these are being used by farmers in Bero block: 1. Monocrotophos 36% SL, banned for use on vegetables in India since 2005, used by two farmers on chilli, shimla mircha and cucumber (classified highly hazardous, banned in 60 countries) 2. Betacyfluthrin 8.5% + Imidacloprid 21%, applied by one farmer to a non-approved crop (Betacyfluthrin is classified highly hazardous)

Profenofos 40% + Cypermethrin 4% EC

This in itself is a scandal! Why are pesticides that are approved by the government for use only on cotton being sold in a state where cotton is not grown?

3. Methyl Parathion 2% DP, applied to a nonapproved crop by one farmer (classified extremely Methyl Parathion hazardous, to be banned in India in 2018)

Disum sakam: http://disumsakam.blogspot.in/2017/12/the-dangerous-misuse-of-pesticides-in.html

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4. Triazophos 40% EC, approved for use only on cotton, paddy and soybean (with waiting periods of 21, 40 and 30 days respectively), used on brinjal and Triazophos other vegetables by four farmers (Triazophos, classified highly hazardous, banned in 40 countries, to be banned in India in 2021) Overall, the study found that the 25 farmers in Bero block have used a total of 42 insecticides, 8 herbicides, and 7 fungicides. Of these, 38 insecticides, 5 herbicides and 6 fungicides are being wrongly applied on crops, i.e. for non-approved uses as per CIBRC guidelines.

periods of the various pesticides. The government is running a Diploma in Agricultural Extension Services for Input Dealers (DAESI) course for several years now. One interviewed shopkeeper had completed the course, yet was still giving farmers the wrong advice. Bero block’s agriculture extension officer was unaware of the sale of certain popular pesticides. None of the interviewed farmers had received training or advice on pesticide use from the government. This year Block offices have distributed pesticides to farmers without telling them the approved uses. Government officers are themselves unaware of the law regarding pesticides.

What’s more, while preparing and applying pesticides, none of the farmers use protective clothing such as face masks or gloves. Several farmers mix pesticides and water with their bare hands! One Oraon farmer showed injuries sustained while mixing a pesticide without An Oraon labourer, who sustained injuries while mixing pesticides protective clothing. He Pesticide manufacturers/companies are not accidentally spilt pesticide on his arm and leg acting responsibly. Approved uses, doses to and didn’t wash it off immediately. As a be applied and waiting periods to be result, he couldn’t use his lower arm for 2 observed are not written on the labels of weeks. pesticides bottles or packets. It is written on labels that an accompanying leaflet must be Information is not being provided to farmers consulted however most pesticides are sold by shopkeepers, government, or without such a leaflet. Most manufacturers manufacturers: do not provide this information on their The five shopkeepers interviewed during the websites either. study were all unaware (or feigned ignorance) of the approved uses and waiting

Disum sakam: http://disumsakam.blogspot.in/2017/12/the-dangerous-misuse-of-pesticides-in.html

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Steps the State government should take to prevent the dangerous misuse of chemical pesticides: 1. The distribution and sale of insecticides approved only for use on cotton should be banned in Jharkhand where cotton is not grown 2. Licenses should only be issued to pesticide manufacturers by the State government if complete information (e.g. approved use of pesticide, dose to be applied, waiting period) is given on the labels of bottles or packets in Hindi, English (and the regional language as appropriate) 3. Proper coordination is required between the concerned agencies of the State government, including Agricultural University scientists, to ensure regulation of pesticide sale and use 4. All concerned officials from state, district, block to village level should be notified of the dangerous and illegal misuse of pesticides 5. The State government should provide written information to all shopkeepers (input dealers) regarding approved uses, doses to be applied, and waiting periods for all pesticides 6. The State government should supply good quality masks and gloves to shopkeepers (input dealers), who should issue these to farmers free-of-cost on the sale of any pesticide 7. The DAESI course should cover pesticides extensively, inc. approved uses, dosages and waiting periods, and sensitise shopkeepers about the illegality of nonapproved pesticides sales 8. Information regarding the dangers and negative health effects of pesticides need to be provided to farmers. This can be disseminated by panchayat offices as well as input dealers More importantly, the State government should make a pledge for Jharkhand to go organic. The input intensive farming model is a failure in Jharkhand, and as this study shows has created a mass poisoning of the people.

Yet the government are unlikely to announce a shift to organic unless the public themselves demand this. On the one hand companies are making a huge profit, and businesses give donations to major political parties. On the other hand, the chemical farming model alienates farmers from their land and the environment, reducing the experience of farming to the purchase of inputs and the technical management of a farm. Over time, farmers will leave their land, which serves the interest of capital. (In an upcoming issue, the root cause of the pesticide problem, ‘improved seed’, and the solution to the problem, ‘agroecological farming’, will be discussed) Dear Reader, Disum Sakam – meaning: country scrawl – is a free blog created in common interest mainly for bringing forward the issues of the Adivasi, tribes or indigenous peoples started from early this year. It tends to give an overview, review, reflect and analyze the happenings and issues largely concerning the said groups in particular and common human interest in general. This initiative is led by the Adivasi / indigenous independent individuals, including those committed for the Adivasi indigenous wellbeing. In the last few months the focus areas of the Disum Sakam team has been on issues of indigenous land conflict, forest right claims vis-à-vis selfgovernance of the respective communities. Indigenous culture and dialogue for learning and sharing is also an interest area for the team to facilitate and be involved in. Though some of the reflections of Disum Sakam have been discussed in Adivasi languages e.g., Sadri, Santhali, Ho and Mundari in earlier printed issues, with this issue the team has intended to have an English addition of the relevant pieces on common public demand. This makes Disum Sakam a multilingual means of communication, broadly concerning Adivasi, tribal and or indigenous people’s life affairs. The team welcomes your valued comments and looks forward to hear from you. Sincerely, Disum Sakam team Do email us at: [email protected]

Disum sakam: http://disumsakam.blogspot.in/2017/12/the-dangerous-misuse-of-pesticides-in.html

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banned in India in 2018). In East Singhbhum's Potka ... Most manufacturers. do not provide this information on their. websites either. Triazophos. An Oraon labourer, who sustained injuries while mixing pesticides. Page 3 of 4. DS 20171215 (E) The dangerous misuse of pesticides in Jharkhand.pdf. DS 20171215 (E) The ...

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