Amid reports that several samples of the aromatic, long-grain basmati rice, contained the residue value of certain pesticides above the Maximum Residual Level (MRL), which could be a potential constraint in its export, the Punjab Government has decided to ban the use of as many as 10 insecticides.
The ban has been imposed for 60 days starting from August 12, 2022.
The State Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department in its notification pointed out that the State Government believes that the sale, stock distribution, and use of the 10 insecticides which include — Acephate, Buprofezin, Chloropyriphos, Methamidophos, Propiconazole, Thiamethoxam, Profenofos, Isoprothiolane, Carbendazim, and Tricyclazole — is not in the interest of basmati rice growers.
It is said that there is a risk of higher pesticide residues than the Maximum Residual Level (MRL) fixed by the competent authority in the basmati rice grains, on account of the use of these agrochemicals. Besides, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has recommended alternative agrochemicals to control pests of basmati rice in Punjab.
Pointing out that the Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association had also reported that several samples got tested by them contained the residue value of these pesticides above the MRL values in basmati rice, the notification said the Association requested the ban of these agrochemicals to save the State’s basmati produce and to ensure its hassle-free export of to other countries.
The notification added that it is imperative to prohibit the sale, stock, distribution, and use of the insecticides on the basmati crop, for it being a potential constraint in the export and consumption of rice. The alternatives to the said insecticides, which are low in residue are available in the market, it added.