Management of date expired pesticide a challenge for traders

Pokhara, July 13

Without proper planning or disposal management training, proprietors of pesticide shops are clueless about what to do with the large stocks of potentially lethal date expired pesticides that lie about in their shops in Pokhara.

Khim Lal Subedi, a pesticide shop proprietor in Chorepatan, Pokhara, said that he still has two cartons of expired pesticides in his shop. He said, “I have stored the pesticides in a hut because I do not have the space to keep them in my shop. Other than that, I do not know what to do.”

Participants at a public hearing and awareness programme organised by Western Regional Crops Protection Laboratory warned that not managing the disposal of expired chemical pesticides could have serious lethal ramifications.

Around 100 kg pesticides was reportedly found dumped a jungle in Siddha VDC, Kaski, a few months ago. The District Agriculture Development Office with the help of police administration had stored the pesticides on the premises of its office.

Senior officer at the office Ramesh Prasad Koirala said that preparations were under way to collect data on expired pesticides across the district to sent to the centre for planning and proper management.

Farmers in Kaski still prefer using chemical pesticides over organic pesticides.

Chitra Nath Poudel, a farmer of Kaski, said that farmers were hesitant to use organic pesticides as there are no quality tests for them and they take a long time to show their effects.

Senior Crop Conservationist Dhan Bahadur Rana of Western Regional Agriculture Directorate said farmers have been using chemical pesticides because both they and the technicians lack proper knowledge of farming.

“Farmers do not have good produce without using chemical pesticides,” he said. He added that farmers do not take the necessary safety measures or use the pesticides as instructed.

Rana said that chemical pesticides are used excessively for rice, pulse, and other crops. “We contract various ailments because of rampant use of pesticides,” he said.

Similarly, Regional Crops Protection Laboratory Chief Phanendra Raj Devkota said that they have been organising various awareness programmes in the district despite limited manpower and insufficient budget.

“We have been compelled to stay idle despite numerous programmes because we do not have the budget for them,” he informed.