Alarm: Sub standard pesticides making things worse for growers
Shopian: As if the August 5 clampdown and Covid-19 lockdown were not enough to cripple the fruit industry in south Kashmir, another crisis is making things worse for the growers in the entire south Kashmir belt.
The mafia involved in selling sub standard pesticides in south Kashmir has added salt on the wounds of fruit growers as due to the use of sub standard pesticides scab and other diseases are prevalent in most of the orchards with growers getting worried.
Horticulture sector which is considered as the backbone of economy was hit hard by clampdown after August 05, early snowfall and Covid-19 lock down. The sector is likely to witness more impact this year as the use of substandard pesticides will hamper the growth and quality of the produce, say growers.
“Fruit growers from every nook and corner of Kashmir can be seen crying hoarse over the issue, but no one is listening to us,” said a fruit grower from Sirhama area of Anantnag.
He said that sub standard pesticides sellers have added salts on our wounds this year as by spraying sub standard pesticides our orchards are still fighting scab and other infectious diseases.
Another grower said that to nourish a small orchard is very difficult because maintenance costs a lot of money but on the other hand the growers are not getting even what they are spending on it.
He said that authorities have either issued pesticides licenses under the names of incompetent persons or unauthorized dealers have been allowed to sell pesticides who have caused huge loses for us.
“We have not received quality pesticides this year. This has resulted in burning of the leaves and resurgence of scab and other diseases,” Mohammad Ismail Parray, another grower said.
He said that the government must enforce strict laws against those selling spurious pesticides as the use of substandard drugs is having a deep impact on the overall horticulture sector.
“We are aware of the concerns the local growers have raised,” said Chief Horticulture officer Anantnag, Roshan Deen Dar.
He said that the field staff has already been directed to collect sample of pesticides that are being sold in the market.
“All these samples will be sent for testing and incase any of the product is found to be substandard strict action will follow against the dealer,” he added.
He further added that all horticulture development officers have been directed to check licenses of pesticides dealers and if anyone is found operating without a licence his business premises will be sealed.