Exporters suffer loss due to pesticide residues in rice
Author(s): Manoj DhimanLudhiana, September 5, 2012: All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), an apex body of Indian rice exporters, executive director Rajen Sundaresan, has said the association has taken an initiative to generate...
Ludhiana, September 5, 2012: All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), an apex body of Indian rice exporters, executive director Rajen Sundaresan, has said the association has taken an initiative to generate awareness and train the farmers on appropriate use of pesticide in rice crop so that there is a little or no residue.
Addressing a press conference here today, he added this step has been taken by AIREA to curb the growing concern among the exporters on the rejection of the rice consignment almost on daily basis because of the pesticide residues found above permissible limit in the processed grain. Rice is the staple food for the people of India with 50% of the global population being rice eaters. India is also one of the world’s largest producers of rice, contributing to a 20% of all world rice production.
He revealed that AIREA through its various meetings, summits, conferences, workshops and events is trying to educate farmers about the negative impacts on the incorrect use of pesticides resulting in the presence of residues even after processing. This presence of residues beyond permissible levels is causing rejection of export consignments. In order that the residues remain within the permissible level the farmers need to adopt GAP (Good Agriculture Practices). This can only be controlled by generating awareness on how it is impacting exports and training the farmers on appropriate use.
Rajen said,” Controlling the pesticide residue is not in the hands of exporter nor the dealer, but the farmer, right pesticide, right dose, right time and right equipment is the only formula that will work in reducing presence of pesticide residues, thereby enhance export.”
The problem is reaching such proportion that exporters are
contemplating pre-testing the produce before buying as it is exports
are pre-testing their consignment before exporting. This is limiting
the exportable volume. The basic principle for pesticide use that
needs to be widely spread around the farmers is not to spray any
pesticide at the time of flowering and beyond. In other words spray
the pesticide till just before the flowering stage. Once the flower
is initiated there should be no spray.
He said generally the pesticide used on rice are prophylactic, meaning they are to prevent infection once infection has set in such pesticides can’t do anything. Therefore, using the pesticide after the infection has set in is waste of money.
Further, he said if the farmers sprays at the right pesticide, in the right dose, at the right time using the right equipment he will have saved his crop and at the same time given enough space for the pesticide to dissipate by the time of harvest. If the farmer stick to this basic formula of pesticide application the problem is rectified, the growth of rice export is ensured by 10-15%.
The All India Rice Exporters’ Association, more popularly known by its acronym AIREA, is the Apex body of Indian Rice exporters both in India and abroad. AIREA’s over 100 members account for about three million tonnes of exports of basmati rice to the world, earning a foreign exchange equivalent of Rs. 15,400 crores in fiscal 2011-12. (April 2011 to March 2012). 90% of India’s total Basmati rice export is done by AIREA Members. AIREA has its secretariat located in South Delhi, guided by a Governing Body of over 20 members, representing all major rice exporters of India. AIREA also interacts with State Governments of major rice growing states and their departments of agriculture, for giving proper advice to farmers.
(City Air News spoke separately to AIREA executive director Rajen Sundaresan after the press conference. Watch a video clip with this copy. )