Srinagar, July 25 (GNS):Over the years, while the use of pesticides by farmers to boost crop production has increased manifold in the Valley, it has also led to decline of biodiversity besides several health hazards and environmental concerns, the agriculturalists say.
They say the spraying of chemicals to prevent and control outbreaks of pests and diseases are used by every single farmer nowadays, and the intensification of agricultural production in recent times has led to a decline and loss of biodiversity.
The most commonly used chemical fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides and fungicides are Demicron, Quinalphos, Monocrotophos, Mencozeb, Carboxin, Captan.
“The excessive use of chemical sprays not only led to the constant decline in crop production but also poses a serious threat to the lives of human beings and animals who depend on the fodder of orchards which is now highly contaminated as the chemical sprays done on the trees fall on the ground too, thus indirectly contaminating the natural products of such animals,” Mohammad Ismail, an agriculturist told GNS.
He added, “Jammu and Kashmir is well known for its agriculture and horticultural production globally, but now we are leading towards a disastrous decline as the production of crops is tending almost to an end. Not only this, such sprays directly or indirectly affect the health of humans too who either consume dairy products or fruits which are highly contaminated due to the excessive use of chemical sprays. The more medicines we use, the more illnesses infest our paddies.”
Another agriculturalist, Riyaz Tawheedi said, “Earlier apple growers used to spray chemical pesticides twice or thrice a year. Now 12 to 13 such sprays are being done on apple trees, which is not beneficial at all. The rice field has been completely degraded compared to the old days when even water was used for drinking purposes from rice fields. We would be poisoned if we drink the water from rice fields as it is highly contaminated by fertilisers and pesticides that contain harmful chemicals.”
“Instead of using harmful chemical sprays, people can use organic fertilizers available in the market which are not only beneficial for getting rid of pests, but also do not comparatively degrade the production,” he said. “People can opt for naturally occurring ingredients such as plant extracts, insect pathogens and fungal derivatives, organic manure in order to enhance their crop production which is also healthy as well as eco-friendly.” (GNS)