Kerala to set up new laboratories to detect pesticides in vegetables

By Times Of India on 17 Aug 2017 | read
KANNUR: In order to detect the presence of dangerous pesticides in the vegetables, the Agriculture Department would open four high-tech laboratories in the state, said minister for agriculture V S Sunilkumar.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, he also said the presence of dangerous pesticides is there in the vegetables coming from other states and some farmers in Kerala also illegally bring the pesticides banned here, from other States.

The minister also said new-generation pesticides are being used nowadays and serious study is needed to detect their composition and the gravity of danger.

As of now, the pesticide testing is done at the laboratory in National Institute of Plant Health Management, Hyderabad, and it is a time consuming process. Once the new laboratories, to be set up in Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode and Kasaragod, become a reality, the checking can be done in one to three hours, he said. The service of Cashew Development Corporation's laboratory in Kollam will also be utilized for this purpose.

He also said Kerala will be self sufficient in vegetable production in three years. As of now we require 20 lakh tonnes of vegetables, of which nearly 7.5 tonnes are produced here. As part of the scheme, 'A tray of vegetables for Onam', the department has distributed five types of vegetable seeds among 63 lakh households, and this campaign will continue so that we will not have to depend on other States for vegetables, he added.

In order to promote coconut farming, the year beginning Chingam 1 this year will be observed as the year of coconut, he said. Though Kerala has to maximum area for coconut cultivation, when it comes to coconut production, we are in the fourth position, and this has to be improved, said Sunilkumar. As part of the coconut year 44 new coconut villages will be formed, he added.

This year, 4315 Onam Vegetable fairs would be opened in the State from August 30 to September 3, said the minister.