The Department of Agriculture has launched a campaign to create awareness about the use of household pesticides and the rules regulating their sale. The awareness campaign is part of efforts by the government to put a control over the use of highly dangerous pesticides.
The launch of the awareness campaign on household pesticides within the city saw agricultural department officials handing out bills on the conditions governing the sale of household pesticides to shop-owners.
The officials told shop owners that the Red and Yellow-labelled pesticides should not be sold without the licence issued by the department. The officials have made it clear that provisions in the Insecticides Act 1968 and 1971 are applicable also to the sale of household pesticides. The efforts to put a better control over the sale of household pesticides had seen the Department of Agriculture issuing a circular in early May this year on the unauthorised sale of household pesticides and enforcement of the licensing procedures.
The circular had pointed out that the Kerala State Fertilizers and Pesticides Dealers’ Association had raised its concerns regarding the new directives and the initiatives by the Department of Agriculture to enforce the Insecticides Act 1968.
The circular had reiterated that stringent measures had to be continued to ensure that no pesticides were sold or distributed without a proper licence and that no restricted pesticide should be sold without the prescription of the agricultural officers concerned.
At that time, the pesticides and fertilizer dealers had raised the point that while licensed pesticide depots were being monitored strictly, hazardous items were being sold as household pesticides through unauthorised outlets.
The circular said that under the Insecticides Act 1968, certain relaxations were provided in storing and retail selling of the household pesticides in the same building where consumer items are sold, provided these items were packaged properly, labelled and registered as such. The department issued instructions that all household insecticide distributors should possess a valid licence issued by the State Licensing Officer for the sale or distribution of these products.