Farmers using banned pesticides in Dhankuta

Dhankuta, October 23

Though the government has officially banned the use of a number of pesticides citing their hazardous effects on human health, these pesticides are still in use in Dhankuta.

After the usual pesticides legally available proved ineffective in controlling pests, farmers have resorted to the banned brands which are known to be more effective.  Interestingly, though the pesticides are banned and can be sold only on the recommendation of technicians, they are easily available at agro shops in the district, according Chandra Bahadur Rai, a farmer, of Dhankuta Municipality-2.

As per the information provided by District Agriculture Development Office, Dhankuta, 15 of over 1,000 types of chemicals used to destroy pests are banned in Nepal. “As there is no monitoring of the agrovets shops operating in the market, they are openly selling banned pesticides to farmers,” said agriculture technicians, adding use of banned pesticides such as monocrotophus, phorate and quintalphos is rife.

Though the District Development Office has been launching a campaign for the past 10 years to make people aware of the harms of using any pesticide or poison, it has failed to achieve much. “Though the use of pesticides in the district has dropped by 27 per cent in the district owing to the campaign, random use of pesticide has yet to stop,” said agriculture development section chief at DDC Surya Prasad Sapkota.

Meanwhile, the effects of the use of banned pesticides have already started to be seen in the district. According to the district hospital, it has been receiving an increased number of patients suffering from respiratory and skin-related diseases . Further, doctors attributed a few cancer cases to the use of banned pesticides.

Dhankuta Municipality Mayor Chintan Tamang said his office was planning to step up monitoring of agrovet shops and launch an awareness campaign to make the farmers and others aware of the harmful use of pesticides, more specifically the banned brands.