Farmer School on pest management held

Panauti, October 22:

Farmer School, a programme for farmers on pesticide management and its use, concluded here yesterday.

The programme was organised with the slogan ‘Pesticides are not medicine but poison. Use caution in the use of pesticides and conserve environment’, with financial assistance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and with technical support from Crop Conservation Directorate under the ministry of agriculture and cooperatives and the district agriculture office, Kavre. The programme was conducted throughout the crop season.

Keshab Badal, member of the CPN-UML standing committee, said that there has been an increase in the number of cancer patients following the use of pesticides in vegetables and crops. He asked the government and other concerned authorities to impart knowledge to farmers on the proper use of pesticides.

Badal further said farmers should be encouraged to use pesticides if only needed, otherwise urged to follow alternative system.

Quality of crops and vegetables could be increased if integrated pest management (IPM)system is adopted which will help minimise the use of pesticides, said Dandapani Khanal of the district agriculture office, Kavre. According to him, IPM system is a medium to increase agricultural production by using organic fertilizer while minimising the use of chemical fertilizers.

On the occasion, Iswori Ojha, president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Kavre branch said that IPM schools being run in Kavre has helped minimise the use of chemical fertilizer and other pesticides among farmers.

With the use of a new system, paddy production has increased by eight metric tonnes per hectare while the use of pesticides has decreased by 25 per cent, said Purusottam Dawadi, crop conservation officer at the district agriculture office. The programme had 60 farmers as trainee in the school.

According to Dawadi, farmers were taught to use locally available resources, such as cow dung and urine, lemon grass and herbal plants instead of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.