The Kerala Government has banned the sale, distribution and use of glyphosate and other products that contain glyphosate, a substance or herbicide used to eliminate weed. The ban is an attempt to gradually phase out the use of pesticide in the state, Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar was reported as saying.
Among the products that contain glyphosate in the state are RoundUp - a herbicide produced by the American company Monsanto and is now owned by Bayer. Glycel, another glyphosate, will also be banned. With glyphosate, the number of pesticides banned in the state has reportedly risen to 28.
The Kerala University has also been asked to submit a paper detailing the impact of glyphosate on the state’s ecosystem.
Termed a controlled pesticide, glyphosate use has shot up by 71 per cent in the last two years, despite the overall use of pesticides having gone down.
As per the law, glyphosate is to be used only in coffee and other types of plantations as well as other lands that are not cultivated. But the chemical is being used in paddy fields as well prior to their cultivation. They are also being used to kill the weeds growing near pineapple and plantain trees.
The chemical also kills the grass the grow around two tiles laid out in house courtyards.
Apart from the ban on glyphosate, agriculture companies have also been asked not to send their representatives to demonstrate to farmers how to use pesticides. To ensure this, an enforcement wing will also be formed for the purpose.
Further, pesticides can now be sold only on the basis of a prescription from government agricultural officers.
An awareness campaign will also be organised for farmers to understand the side effects, correct dosage, correct usage of pesticides and precautions to be used.