Pesticide residue monitoring to be expanded

Kathmandu, May 31

The government is preparing to launch pesticide residue monitoring of fruits and vegetables in major cities outside the Valley, owing to rising number of public complaints.

The Plant Protection Directorate (PPD), under the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD), has informed that pesticide residue monitoring will be conducted in Nepalgunj, Biratnagar, Narayanghat, Pokhara and Butwal from next fiscal.

Currently, PPD has been monitoring pesticide residue at the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market and four entry points to the Kathmandu Valley — Sanga in the east, Thankot in the west, Kakani in the north and Pharping in the south.

PPD has said that monitoring at entry points was launched a few months back but they are entirely reliant on the lab of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market to test the samples collected at entry points.

“Due to lack of mobile lab, monitoring at the entry points is less effective, though we have been doing our best to make it effective with the support of mobile lab of the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control,” said Dilli Ram Sharma, programme director at PPD.

PPD has requested for a mobile lab with its parent ministry to conduct effective pesticide monitoring activities, including random sampling in different parts of the country. “Lab equipment for aforementioned five destinations will be set up by the supplier within one month and there is defect liability period of equipment for another one month. Then after, PPD will operate the pesticide monitoring labs in five destinations on its own,” Sharma stated.