Analysis of toxic residues on food, particularly vegetables will soon be possible as the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University plans to set up Pesticide Testing Laboratories at its constituent colleges in Madurai and Killikulam, according to a top university official

TNAU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Murugesa Bhoopathi said farmers resort to 12 to 15 sprays of chemical pesticides for vegetables, which results in toxic residues in harvested produce. These laboratories would analyze them, he said.

He stressed the need to increase vegetable productivity to meet projected demand of 170 million tons in 2025 against the present 109 million tons and said the demand could be met through improved Integrated Pest Management practices.

Though the area under vegetable crops occupied only about two per cent of cultivated area in the country, it consumes 13 to 14 per cent of total pesticides used for agriculture, he said, addressing a function of ‘Farm school on All India Radio,’ recently.

By adopting IPM practices with special emphasis on biopesticides, farmers can reduce pesticide load on crops and supply quality vegetables to the consumers, he said.