SRINAGAR: Kashmir valley fruit growers are apprehensive about the supply position of pesticides in the valley saying that lower imports are creating shortfall and surging prices.
This dearth, according to growers, has been a result of delay in clearance under the new authorization norms put by the government for manufacturers besides seeking prior test from the authorities report before their sale through registered pesticides dealers.
Chairman of the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers and Dealers Association Ghulam Rasool Wagay told Kashmir Raeder that supply of `recommended pesticides is running low and many of the recommended brands for current sprays schedules are missing from the sale counters.
Wagay said the government should take corrective measures to ensure that the supply is maintained as this year they are worried about the scab disease. The growers say that there are high chances of this disease due to higher levels of humidity due to the greater perception received, with its control compulsory with relevant pesticide during this time period.
Growers say that a spray schedule is formulated by the SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) for controlling a disease and it does mention composition and brand name of the companies along with usage pattern and time.
However, Wagay said that there is huge dearth of pesticides and only few brands exist in the market.
“This dearth could impact the production as growers are worried about where from to buy the recommended ones,” he said.
However, one of the officials from the Enforcement Agency of the Agriculture Department that looks after quality control in pesticides, fertilizers and seeds said that there is no dearth of pesticides and that new norms have been placed to check the influx of substandard products in the valley and manufacturing companies are complying with the rules.
“The manufacturers have to inform us about the imports and we have assured them that sampling test results will be carried within a weeks time after the pesticides enter the valley,” he said wished not be named as he was not authorized to talk to media.
Conceding increase in the prices of the pesticides, dealers said, that under the new government norms some of the earlier brands are not now available as the manufactures have not approved their pesticides, but there are supplies of branded ones that are being sold and imported.
One of the growers who did not want to named said that government apart from ensuring quality pesticides should also look at the supply.
“It is grower who have stressed on blocking entry of spurious pesticides, and government should have framed a policy where in it could have worked for maintain the supply and quick conformation reports on some of the leading brands that are required presently,” he said.
Adding that SKUAST is charging a fee of rupees three lakh, and a company which manufactures 10 pesticides has to pay a fee of Rs 30 lakh, that can add to the rates and put a burden on the farmer,” he said, alleged that this all is done to favor a local brand and writ of the government must be ensued where in manufacturers should be asked to maintain the necessary supply and a rate structure in the market.