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Pesticide Management Act

Introduction

A pesticide is a substance of chemical or biological origin which intends to prevent or destroy any pests in agriculture, industry, public health, pest control operation or for any ordinary use.

The Pesticide Management bill was approved by the union cabinet on 12 February. This bill holds the significance of the Agricultural sector. The new bill proposes to promote the production and distribution of safe and effective pesticides and to reduce crop losses due to the use of spurious and substandard products.

Key Features

1. Pesticide Data: It will empower farmers by providing them with all the information about the strength and weakness of pesticides, the risk and alternatives. All information will be available openly as data in digital format and in all languages.

2. Compensation: The Bill has a unique feature in the form of a provision for compensations in case there is any loss because of the spurious or low quality of pesticides.

3. Organic Pesticides: The Bill also intends to promote organic pesticides.

4. Registration of Pesticide Manufacturers: All pesticide manufacturers have to be registered and bound by the new Act, once it is passed. The advertisements of pesticides will be regulated so there should be no confusion or no cheating by the manufacturers.

Criteria that needs to be fulfilled

1. Registration

Person or group who wants to manufacture pesticide for agriculture, use for industrial purposes, or public health, or for any other use requires to obtain a certificate of registration from the registration committee.

2. Criteria for Registration

The committee checks the information submitted by the applicants on factors such as Safety, necessity, worth the price, its effects on environment, risks etc. The committee does ot approve any product which can results damage to human health and environment.

3. Prohibition

The central government can prohibit the usage and sale of some pesticide if they are a risk to human health, other living organisms, or the environment or if they are a barrier in international trade of any agricultural commodities.

4. Prices

If the central government considers it necessary or expedient to secure the distribution and availability of pesticides at fair prices, it may constitute an authority to regulate their price in a manner as it may prescribe.

5. Licences:

A person seeking to manufacture, distribute, exhibit for sale, sell, or stock pesticides, or undertake pest control operations is required to obtain a licence from the Licensing Officer, who may be appointed by the state government.

Once the registration certificate for a pesticide is issued, the applicant must obtain a licence within the specified period, failing which the certificate will be cancelled.

How it will affect the manufacturers?

Those who produce or sell the pesticide will have to keep up their work with the Act passed. From the time when manufacturing start to the time when they are stored everything should be according the guidelines of the Act. All the details of the manufacturer claims, safety, the usage instructions, the infrastructure required to store the pesticides, taking care of the Do’s and the Dont’s, and potential effects of the pesticide on the environment should be provided to the farmers and to the authority if asked.

With that advertisements that are to be published will be taken care of so that there to avoid confusion and misleading facts between the producers and the farmers.

Those who Violates the Act?

Under the Bill, manufacturing, importing, distributing, selling, exhibiting for sale, transporting, storing, or undertaking pest control operations, without a licence or certificate is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years, or a fine of up to Rs 40 lakh, or both. Persons using pesticides in their own household, kitchen-garden, or land under their own cultivation are not liable for prosecution for any offence under the Bill.

The penalties collected will form a central fund that will provide compensation for farmers facing losses due to illegal, low-quality or spurious chemicals.

Conclusion

The Pesticide Management Act promotes the distribution of safe and effective pesticides to reduce the crop losses because of substandard and hazardous effects. The bill brings out the potential assets of bringing more safety to the environment and to human health.

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