New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Non-judicious use of pesticides is leading to an annual loss of more than Rs.100,000 crore (Rs.1,000 billion/$21 billion) in the agricultural sector, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).
'Poor and inadequate use of pesticides is the primary cause of poor yield of Indian crops due to which a great deal of agriculture production has been suffering,' said Assocham president Sajjan Jindal in a statement.
'The impression is that pesticide consumptions in India are significantly higher as compared to many developed and developing countries but official records show that per hectare use of pesticide in India is just 0.33 kilogram,' Jindal said.
This is against 3.07 kilogram a hectare consumed in France, 4.17 kilogram in Italy, 13.1 kilogram in Japan and more than 15 kilogram a hectare in Britain, Canada and the US.
Assocham also quoted a recent estimate of the Standing Committee on Petroleum and Chemicals that India's farm sector loses over Rs.90,000 crore annually on account of unwise and non-judicious pesticide use.
According to the chamber, the biggest challenge facing Indian farmers is a knowledge gap and inadequate transfer of technology to them.
Jindal called for a policy document that makes the use of chemicals a part of a technology package for increasing agricultural production, productivity and farmers' income.
It said organic agriculture is at best a niche market and should be promoted only in regions differentiated for the purpose.
--Indo-Asia News Service
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