The State government has set up a committee to suggest alternatives to the pesticides banned by it on Saturday and draw up revised crop-management packages.
The committee consists of the Director of Agriculture; the heads of the Department of Extension and the Department of Research of Kerala Agricultural University; the Additional Director (Co-production) of Agriculture Department; and the Chairman of the State Biodiversity Board. It has been asked to submit the recommendations in 10 days.
The order issued by the government on Saturday states that the Agriculture Department and Kerala Agriculture University should develop alternatives, such as bio-pesticides and new management practices, to the banned pesticides.
The order banned the sale of the red-labelled pesticides carbofuran, phorate, methyl parathion, monocrotophos, and methyl demeton and the yellow-labelled pesticides triazophos and prephenophos. It also banned the fungicides ediphenphos, tricylazole, and oxythioquinox and the weedicides anilophos, Paraquat, thiobencarb, and atrazin.
It noted that the government had approved the revised organic farming policy according to which Kerala was to be freed of pesticides. As the first step towards this, the government had declared a ban on the red and yellow categories of pesticides in Kasaragod district. It had issued directives to regulate the sale and usage of pesticides. As pesticides harmful to human lives were found to be in use in the State, the government was banning their distribution and sale as part of the implementation of the organic farming policy.