Veggie pesticide residue down by 95pc: Officials

- PRAGATI SHAHI, Kathmandu

Nov 22, 2014-

Authorities concerned said exposure to harmful pesticides through the consumption of vegetables and fruits in the Kathmandu valley has significantly decreased in the recent months. They said the number of samples tested with pesticides residue come down to almost zero this month.

According to Dilli Ram Sharma, programme director at the Plant Protection Department (PPD), the supply of poisoned farm produces from various parts of the country to Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market (KFVM) decreased by almost 95 percent after the Rapid Pesticide Residue Analysis was launched on June 18.

Right after the programme was launched, the study from June 18 to July 17 found that nearly 14 percent of the vegetables supplied to the KFVM contained a high level of pesticides residue making them unfit for consumption. Of the total 187 samples tested during the period, 26 were found contaminated with harmful chemicals responsible for affecting nervous system. Similarly, the test done between October 18 and November 17 revealed that none of the 109 samples of farm produces tested positive for containing harmful pesticides, PPD officials said.

The number of samples with pesticides residue has decreased to one or two compared with 26 in the first month of the campaign, Bhandari said. In the past five months, a total of 710 vegetable and fruit samples were tested by the country’s only lab established inside the Kalimati market.

The PPD under the Ministry of Agriculture and Development is involved in the inspection programme to discourage use of pesticides.

Government plans six more labs

KATHMANDU: The Plant Protection Department through the Project for Agriculture Commercialisation and Trade has approved budget of Rs 50 million to establish six labs to test presence of harmful pesticides in farm produces. The six labs which will check the pesticides residues in vegetables and fruits and also carry out fungicides test will be established in Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Butwal, Narayangadh, Biratnagar and one place inside the Kathmandu valley within this fiscal year. “We have not been able to work as effectively and widely as we want due to inadequate lab service, space and other related facilities including Fume hood, air-conditioning as well as the lack of human resource,” an official at the Agriculture Ministry said. (PR)

 

Published: 23-11-2014 09:28

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