The Economic Times, October 16, 2014

JAIPUR: Civil Society organisation CUTS International today highlighted problems linked with excessive use of pesticides in fruits and vegetables and asked for a shift in policy towards organic consumption and production.

George Cheriyan, Director CUTS, cited some examples saying that there are 140 per cent more pesticides than the allowed limit in fruits such as apple and orange and expressed concern over cultivation of vegetables with toxic components in locations such as Amanishah Nallah in the city.

Speaking at a state level stakeholder consultation on ‘Organic Food and Farming for All’, he claimed that supply of vegetables with toxic components, which constitute nearly 20 per cent of consumption in the city, is continuing despite High Court order.

He suggested individuals to do kitchen gardening or backyard farming of organic produce.

Sheetal Prasad Sharma, Additional Director- the state agriculture department, briefed about the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture and Sub-Mission and emphasised that gaps in the organic value chain need to be addressed.

General Manager – NABARD R A Mishra shared his experience of working on the issues through Farmer Clubs and briefed on the initiatives by the NABARD for organic cultivation.

K Ram Krishna, Director of Research, SKN Agriculture University – Jobner gave a presentation on serious health concerns due to polluted environment, unsafe drinking water and food.

He also said that children and workers involved in mixing and applying pesticides are especially vulnerable to diseases due to pesticides.

As part of the event, a panel discussion was also held in which experts from different agencies participated.

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