The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 27, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:16 AM, November 27, 2016
Pesticide use drops 25pc in last 7yrs
Use of harmful pesticide showed a constant declining trend, registering a phenomenal 25 percent fall in the last seven years, thanks to the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme and initiatives of building awareness among farmers.
The latest data of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) showed that the country’s overall chemical pesticide use declined by 25 percent or 13,000 tonnes to 35,523 tonnes in 2015 from 48,690 tonnes in 2008.
The falling use of pesticides saved around Tk 650 crore during the period as the import cost for pesticide fell to Tk 180 crore in 2015 from Tk 828 crore in 2008.
“Introduction of biological pest management system like ‘sex pheromones Trap’ under the IPM helped farmers largely in containing the pest attack on some major crops,” said Hamidur Rahman, director general (DG), of the DAE.
He said farmers used to apply a huge amount of pesticides on some major vegetables like cucumber, bottle gourd, sweet gourd, tomato, okra, beans and brinjal. But the farmers are now using biological pest management system.
Rahman said rice farmers are also using “perching” method to avoid the risks of indiscriminate use of such toxic chemical on health and environment.
“Use of harmful pesticides rose alarmingly to 61,000 tonnes in the early 2008 as the farmers had no alternative to the chemical pesticides,” said Dr Syed Nurul Alam, former divisional head (entomology) of the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI).
A total of 18 bio-pesticide products have been provided import registration, said DAE’s pest regulatory officer Mukhlesur Rahman.
On the other hand, he pointed out that the DAE cancelled import registration for sulphur, glychomet, paraquat, carbofuran to phase out the use of hazardous pesticides.
M Abdul Bari, a Thai guava producer of Joynagar of Ishwardi, Pabna, said he spent Tk 3,000 for pesticides for a season, which was Tk 12,000 before using the IPM.