KATHMANDU: Nepalese farmers have been using less amount of pesticides, compared to other countries. However, it has been causing maximum impact on the health of Nepalese people.
Chief of the Plant Quarantine and Pesticide Management Centre Dr. Dilli Raj Sharma said only 396 gram of pesticide was being used in a hectare of land in Nepal.
“The amount is very less compared to Japan, Korea, Italy and other countries. Japan is found using 10.8 kilogram pesticides per hectare, Korea 16.6 kilograms and Italy 13 kilograms,” he said.
Speaking at an event organised by the Resource Centre for Primary Health Care here on Wednesday, Dr. Sharma said Nepal had been adversely affected due to pesticide because the farmers had failed to make proper use of the pesticides.
The experts said that the farmers of the Terai region were found using maximum pesticides in crops, while almost 80 per cent of the pesticides imported to the country are used in vegetables.
They lack knowledge to use appropriate amount of pesticide in farming, said Dr. Sharma.
Consuming foods and vegetables exposed to pesticides could adversely impact human health, said Dr. Sharma, adding that the centre had installed a machine at Kalimati Vegetable Market to test Carbonate and Agro Phosphate in fruits and vegetables.
Executive Director of the Resource Centre for Primary Health Care Shanta Lal Mulmi said pressure should be exerted from all levels on the famers to use organic manure, instead of chemical pesticides.
He urged the lawmakers to endorse the Pesticide Management Bill immediately which is pending in the parliament.
The bill has provisioned to fine anyone found misusing chemical pesticides Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 200,000 and imprisonment of a month minimum to a year.
According to Mulmi, overuse and misuse of pesticides have been affecting public health. Considering this fact, the government must carry out awareness generating programmes.”
Prof. Dr. Sharad Lal Wanta, chairperson of the centre, shared that 25 types of chemical pesticides were being used in Nepal.
“The general people will remain healthy if the government can encourage farmers to use the pesticides only by authenticating them.”
Food and vegetables that were exposed to extreme amount of pesticide could damage lungs, liver, respiratory system and immune system, said Dr. Aruna Upreti, public health expert.
Various studies have also proved that consumption of such foods can affect memory power of people, can cause mental illness, skin diseases and affect reproductive health, causing miscarriage and infertility.
“Foods exposed to pesticides do not harm immediately. Their impact on human health is gradual. Its onset is slow but in the long run it can cause diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and kidney diseases,” said Krishna Poudel of Forest Action Nepal.
Experts have expressed their worries over the decreasing level of soil productivity and environmental impact caused by misuse of chemical pesticides.
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