Thiruvananthapuram: After several months of delay, the Kerala Agriculture University (KAU) has finally released its pesticide residue lab report. It says 93.6 per cent of the vegetable samples which were collected from various farmers and outlets are pesticide-free.
Deccan Chronicle had repeatedly raised the issue on the inordinate delay in releasing the six reports related to vegetable samples collected from farmers and markets as part of ‘Production and Marketing of Safe to Eat Vegetables’.
As per the samples collected during 2017, only 38 samples tested positive for being laced with pesticides, and that too with slight traces. Only four samples had pesticides which should not have been used among vegetables. Agriculture minister V.S. Sunil Kumar’s office informed that the department has intensified Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) where agricultural officers along with pest surveillance group, pet scouts and plan health clinic field assistants services would be utilised.
“We have decided to intensify the campaign to minimise the pesticide use under the aegis of agricultural officers across the state. If earlier, the pesticide residue was 18 per cent, now it has come down to 6.4 per cent,” said Sunil Kumar’s office.
The enforcement team which will be appointed soon will ensure that the use of pesticides is brought down completely and only those pesticides which can be purchased only through prescription will be allowed. This year, `2 crore would be utilised for enforcing GAP in Kuttanad region alone where branded rice grains will soon be sold.
It was the Pesticide Residue Research and Analytical Laboratory (PRRAL) at College of Agriculture at Vellayani under the project, ‘Production and Marketing of Safe to Eat Vegetables’ who were entrusted with the report.
It was started under the aegis of the agriculture department in 2013 which led a revolution in the state where every household resorted to cultivate organic vegetables....