The excessive use of pesticides for fruits, vegetables and crops is causing health and environment hazards, said University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Iqbal Zafar. He was speaking to the faculty and students at annual function of the Department of Entomology, UAF, as the chief guest on Thursday. Chairman Department of Entomology Dr Muhammad Jalal Arif also spoke on the occasion.
He said that more than 50 per cent of marketed pesticides in the country were highly hazardous, causing skin and nervous system toxicity. He said that drinking water which containes pesticides can be harmful, ranging from mild headache and skin allergy to cancer. He stressed the need for adopting modern pest management technique for a healthy and food secure society. He said that amid the situation of climate changes, new diseases were breaking out in the agricultural produces. He said that keeping the situation in view, the Entomology had gained immense importance.
He praised the Entomology Department for conducting a survey on the directives of the Punjab government in the cotton belt regarding record decline in cotton production in 2015. Dr Jalal Arif said that running multiple national and international projects, the Department has partnered with Punjab government in dengue research and control programme. He said that Australia had developed a national fruit fly management plan.
He said that to export fruits we have to meet the international standards. He said that the Entomology had developed the protocol to determine Maximum Residual Limits (MRL) for the Punjab government for the registration of new pesticides. He said that use of pesticide had increased manifold in the last 20 years. The trend must be curtailed and replaced with IPM, he added.—APP