‘Inclusion of NAAS, TAAS, and Farmers’ Union recommendations in Pesticides Management Bill 2020 will render it science-based and pro-farmer’ – brand post

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The Pesticides Management Bill 2020 (PMB) that was tabled in the Rajya Sabha during budget session is a great opportunity for the Government to include the experts’ recommendations of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) and the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (TAAS), which were prepared after comprehensive consultation with all stakeholders, including farming community.

The Pesticide Management Bill, 2020, is a long-overdue law in the making since 2008. It will replace the old Insecticides Act, 1968. Considering advances in the modern pest management sciences and the effects of synthetic pesticides in our food, nutrition, health, wealth, and environment security, the Pesticide Management Bill should bring India’s pesticide sector in line with the latest global norms, with a robust Regulatory System.

Prof R.B. Singh, Former President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), said, “The PMB in the present form is not based on scientific facts and does not adequately address the concerns of the farmers. The internalization of the NAAS and TAAS recommendations into the PMB will not only enhance the credibility of the Bill, but would also greatly augment the agro-ecological and socio-economic impact of pesticides as plant health chemicals towards Greening Agricultural Transformation in the country.”

He reiterated that pesticides play an important role in increasing agricultural productivity and preventing crop losses. However, despite very low intensity of pesticide use in the country, less than 0.5 kg/ha, against over 13 kg/ha in China, due to their indiscriminate use, negative impact on the health of humans, animals, biodiversity, and environment are not uncommon. The PMB 2020 has several loopholes and is silent on critical issues which will allow miscreants to compromise farmers’ welfare and socio-economic and environmental security. The NAAS and TAAS, involving the stakeholders along the value-chain, have scientifically identified the shortcomings and made science-informed recommendations