Improper Use of Chemicals in Farming
A Case Study
In India, thousands of tonnes of crop gets destroyed every year due to improper use of insecticides, pesticides, plant growth regulators etc. This destruction of crop can happen either if a farmer uses these chemicals without any scientific knowledge by themselves or by relying on their local shops. Most of the times, the people handling these local shops do not have any scientific knowledge or an official degree by themselves and suggest chemicals based upon what may have worked for some other farmers. This way of recommending chemical solutions to farmers is non-intuitive and more often than not ends up providing a completely wrong solution to the farmer. Even more often, these local shops have their own commercial interests and suggest chemicals from the companies from which they have business tie-ups with. By doing this, they end up suggesting completely irrelevant and ineffective solutions to the farmers. And, the most worst case scenario is, when these local vendors end up suggesting chemicals banned by the government and the relevant authorities. The farmer has no means to identify whether the chemicals suggested by their local shops and even the ones which they use by their own previous knowledge are approved by the government authorities or not.
One such case came into our attention when one farmer shared his problem with us on Farmonaut’s discussion forum. And when the details unfolded, it was really disappointing.
Nawed Sheikh is an Indian farmer who majorly grows lemon (citrus) in his farm. He has been proactively getting solutions from the fellow farmers on the Farmonaut Discussion Forum.
On one incident, Nawed shared on the Discussion Forum, that the new leaves of the lemon trees on his farm are getting some cut shape and have stopped producing flowers since past 6 six days ever since he sprayed the trees with Profex Super.
When a fellow farmer told him on the discussion forum that Profex Super has been banned by Central Insecticide Board and Central Citrus Research Institute, he was surprised because the chemical was suggested by one of his local shops and neither he nor the local shop manager were aware of the fact that Profex Super has been banned for usage on Citrus crops.
This incident made it more clear that even the local shop owners do not have sufficient information about which chemicals are approved by the regulatory authority.
At Farmonaut, we have tried to tackle this situation by aggregating all the solutions approved by: Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Central Insecticide Board & Registration Committee, Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage.
We have made this database accessible for free from our app which is available on Google Play Store for android.
The database consists of govt. approved information about 100+ crops, 300+ problems (diseases, pests etc.), and 150+ chemicals (Insecticides, Pesticides, and Plant Growth Regulators).
Furthermore, in efforts to make the system as much user-friendly for Farmers as possible, we have created a Voice-Text Based Crop Issue Identification System which can identify issues with the crop just by voice or text explanation of the problem by the farmers. Farmers can ask for solutions to their problems in more than 50 languages.
We will keep posting about any such informative incidents on to our blogs, to help as many people as possible. Farmonaut is built upon a vision to bridge the technological gap between farmers and strives to bring state-of-the-art technologies in the hands of each and every farmer. For any queries/suggestions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have some more interesting articles coming up soon. Stay tuned!
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