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Indian state mandates pesticide “prescriptions”

The Indian state of Kerala is to make it mandatory for farmers to get “prescriptions” from agricultural officers before buying pesticides from retailers, reports Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI). The guidelines issued by the state’s Director of Agriculture require agricultural officers to write details such as the type of crop, the affliction from which the plant suffers, and the chemical composition of the pesticide and rate required in the prescriptions to be given to farmers, PTI reports. Retailers would be asked to sell pesticides only on prescription and maintain a register of details and “strict action would be taken” against violators. The state has been at odds with the central government over the use of the organochlorine insecticide/acaricide, endosulfan. In October, its Minister of Forests criticised India’s opposition to the listing of the active ingredient on the Stockholm Convention of persistent organic pollutants ( Agrow No 603, p 20).

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