Right after organizing to ban 27 pesticides, the Centre has now moved to control the use of glyphosate, a widely-used herbicide in the state.

“No individual shall use glyphosate apart from via Pest Command Operators,” stated a draft notification issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, posted on July 8. It has presented thirty days time for any individual to raise objection or strategies on the draft order, issued at the request of Kerala.

The Restriction on use of Glyphosate Purchase, 2020, will occur into drive on the date of its last publication in the Official Gazette, the Ministry stated in a notification.

Glyphosate is amongst the 39 widely-used agrochemicals by the farmers in India to command weeds in tea plantations, non-crop and cropped areas, for about four decades now. The use of herbicides this kind of as glyphosate has been on the rise as farmers have been more and more relying on chemical substances to tackle labour scarcity, climbing prices and to shield their yields from weeds, which compete with standing crops for vitamins.

Even more, the order states that all holders of certificate of registration granted for glyphosate and its derivatives shall return their certificates to the Registration Committee for incorporation of the warning in daring letters ‘The use of glyphosate formulation to be permitted via Pest Command Operators (PCOs)’ on the label and leaflets.

The market stated the government’s proposed go is impractical as there are not lots of PCOs in the farm sector and that it may possibly affect the profits of glyphosate and its products formulations.

Pradeep Dave, President of the Pesticides Manufacturers and Formulators Affiliation of India, stated the federal government desires to see that the application of glyphosate and its solutions is taken up by certified people today this kind of as PCOs. “However, the only challenge is that this kind of operators are not registered with the agriculture section or federal government,” he stated.

Surprised at the Centre’s go, Crop Lifestyle India CEO Asitava Sen stated CropLife and its worried customers implore the Centre to let at the very least ninety days time to respond, in its place of the thirty days specified in draft order presented Covid and lockdown predicament.

Kavita Kuruganti of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture stated the draft order was very worthless in its scope of motion from federal government. “It does not deal with anything at all related to the sale of glyphosate. In the absence of regulatory oversight around who is providing, who is acquiring and who is employing on the ground, what is the level of saying that use is limited to application only by PCOs? It seems that the federal government has not still grasped the entire set of repercussions with glyphosate. The Government requires to go to the upcoming sensible phase of banning the chemical,” she stated.

Rajesh Agarwal, Managing Director, Insecticides India Ltd, stated there are rarely any PCOs in rural areas, and that the government’s choice could be complicated to implement and may possibly hurt profits. Even more, the use of PCOs for spraying would also add to the prices of the farmers.

“This go is versus farmers’ curiosity,” stated CD Mayee, President of South Asia Biotech Centre. The federal government could be imagining of curbing the cultivation of HT cotton by limiting the profits, but now there are other cotton growers who are dependent on these herbicides to command weeds. Furthermore, wherever are the PCOs in rural areas? The concept of PCO may possibly be common in the US but not in rural India. Any go to produce PCOs now would final result in corruption and licence raj, still once again, Mayee stated.

Big producers of glyphosate in India consist of Bayer, Sumitomo, Adama, Crystal, Rallis amongst many others.

A Bayer India spokesperson stated as with all crop security solutions, glyphosate way too has been subjected to rigorous tests. Bayer in partnership with other stakeholders will continue to interact with the Ministry to recognize this draft order in detail.

Glyphosate intake stood at near to 670 tonnes in the course of 2018-19. The government’s go is also aimed at controlling the unfold of illegal herbicide tolerant (HT) cotton, which more farmers are noticed planting this yr.

The timing of the Ministry’s go to limit use of glyphosate appears exciting. It may possibly be recalled that not long ago, Bayer attained a $ten.9-billion settlement with the Roundup plaintiffs in the US, who experienced claimed that the use of herbicide experienced brought about them to create a form of blood cancer. Glyphosate is an active ingredient in the weedicide Roundup.