Skip to main content

Drone spraying pesticides 'catastrophic' for humans, agriculture, ecology, wildlife

By Our Representative 

Narasimha Reddy Donthi, former board member of IFOAM-Asia, which is part of the Germany-based International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), a pioneering organization on organic farming across the world, in a letter to the secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers, taking strong exception to the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) released for aerial spraying of pesticides, has said that the move contradicts the Insecticide Act.
Pointing out that he had brought this to the notice of the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC), Dhonti says, allowing aerial spraying, using drones and unmanned, remote controlled vehicles can be catastrophic to humans, agriculture, farmers, ecology and wildlife.
Currently adjunct professor, Padala Rama Reddy Law College, and member, Research Advisory Committee, Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad, Dhonti insists on the withdrawal of the interim approval for drone application of pesticides, SOP for drone application of pesticides, and blanket approval for drone application of pesticides.
Regretting that his view was ignored, Dhonti says, instead the Ministry has developed an SOP for drone applications of pesticides. He adds, “SOP falls far short of expectations and technical content. Consequently, it lacked imagination on establishing standards. The language is vague and non-binding.” Further, there is a failure to “integrate science, ecological and environmental factors into the SOP.”
Attaching a detailed set of comments along with his letter, Dhonti says, the document allowing aerial spraying of pesticides “seems to have been done in a hurry, without proper assessment of possible impacts and wider consultation”, pointing out, “While CIBRC took more than two years to arrive at this draft, the window period given for public comments was only 30 days.”
Stating that “the industry, which benefits directly from this was made part of the consultation process, from the beginning”, the letter regrets, “Other stakeholders did not get to participate in this process on par with manufacturers of drones and pesticides”, which “violates” the principle of public participation being “part and parcel of public policy making.”
Says Dhonti, “The constant urge to share data from the drone operators, both in the SOP and the interim approval, indicates that this Ministry was not working on field data and practical experiences. Its approvals appear to be ad hoc and unscientific. Alarmingly, these approvals are about aerial spraying of highly hazardous agrochemicals which can be fatal for life, even in minuscule doses.”
He adds, “It appears that the Ministry and CIBRC failed to realise that drones can spray copious amounts of these agrochemicals. Since pesticides are hazardous products, using them aerially should be regulated strictly for public and environment safety. In a further mis-step, the CIBRC has gone ahead with an interim approval of application of pesticide formulations through drones on 12th April, 2022, without referring to a particular legal clause, under which this was given.”
Asserting that pesticide registration is “based on data generated through surface level application”, the letter says, “However, CIBRC extends its approval for usage already approved pesticide formulations for aerial application, based on representation from pesticide industry lobby”, ignoring “detailed, considered, researched approval.” It adds, the approval “is not based on biosafety parameters and also ignores the well laid principle of caution.”

Comments

The data you've given is helpful on the grounds that it gives an abundance of information that will be exceptionally valuable to me. Much thanks to you for sharing that. Keep doing awesome. drone agriculture market

TRENDING

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Why am I exhorting citizens for a satyagrah to force ECI to 'at least rethink' on EVM

By Sandeep Pandey*   As election fever rises and political parties get busy with campaigning, one issue which refuses to die even after elections have been declared is that of Electronic Voting Machine and the accompanying Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail.