MoAD plans vigilance in districts

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Aug 6, 2014-

After initiating its monitoring campaign in the Kathmandu valley, the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) has moved to districts to check the use of pesticides in various vegetables and fruits.

On Wednesday, the ministry directed its all district-based offices across the country to strictly monitor such practices at farm and market, and take stringent action against those involved in promoting excessive use of pesticides.

“Amid rampant complaints in various districts regarding the use of pesticides and its negative effects on public health, we have decided to extend our vigilance, particularly in those pocket areas where farmers are reportedly using high quantity of harmful chemicals in their farm,” said MoAD Secretary Jay Mukunda Khanal.

According to Khanal, use of excessive quantity of pesticides is reported from the source, at farm level while growing crops, so it is the responsibility of the crop protection officer to monitor the situation and take account of activities that involve the pesticides utilisation in agriculture. Officials who are directly working with farmers are the ones who should be highly responsible for providing adequate information on waiting period, quality and quantity of pesticides used in various crops, Khanal said. “The surveillance needs to be made effective in the district level,” he added.

Khanal directed the concerned officials during the annual review meeting of the ministry that began on Wednesday in all five development regions. In Kathmandu, around 200 representatives from all districts of the Central Development Region have been attending the meeting.

Since June, the Plant Protection Directorate in coordination with the concerned department has been conducting day-to-day monitoring of vegetables and fruits brought in Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market, a sole wholesale market in the in the Kathmandu Valley, to control the use of harmful pesticides. During tests, vegetables brought to the Kalimati market from various districts and imported from India were found to have been laced with harmful chemicals and thus threatening the public health.

“Kalimati alone cannot control the production and sale of pesticides-laced vegetables and fruits, so all the concerned bodies in respective districts should act proactively to monitor the status and take stringent actions whenever necessary,” said Yubak Dhoj GC, director general at the Department of Agriculture under the ministry.

Published: 07-08-2014 09:10

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