Even as a strong plea is made to declare the hilly forest terrain of Visakha Agency on the Eastern Ghats as an organic zone, environmentalists and those watching the Girijan farmers successfully following the organic method of farming since generations are worried that the farmers are being supplied a chemical pesticide, that too a brand containing the banned monocrotophos.
Girijan farmers in the Visakha Agency, except a few, follow the organic method for reasons like they grow the crop to realise the yield sufficient to meet their needs, and thus no need to spend more on chemical fertilizers or pesticides; also because they cannot afford the cost of the chemical varieties and can prepare the organic fertilizers and pesticides from the dung of their cattle they raise. In fact, the yield from organic crops is fast attracting a lot of demand from the urban people.
A few days ago, an activist who works among the particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) P.S. Ajay Kumar found a stock of a chemical pesticide monocrotophos at the office of the Agriculture Officer at G. Madugula.
Monocrotophos is not only a chemical pesticide but also barred to be used in the field till September. When asked, the staff at the office told him that the farmers would use it for paddy. He wondered when the farmers have started adopting the chemical pesticide since his experience tells him that a PVGT farmer does not use it at all and is “ready to take what comes to him from a plant”. When Mr. Ajay Kumar brought this to the notice of executive director of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture G.V. Ramanjaneyulu, the latter wrote a letter to the higher officials of the agriculture department pointing out that the WHO report of 2009 and Anupam Verma Committee Report, 2015 have found monocrotophos was hazardous.
In A.P., the use of this pesticide is banned till the kharif crop is completed and its use is resorted to only when needed most, he said.