5 Aug : The state government has urged people not to use harmful chemicals and non-edible colours so that their harmful effects on human body can be prevented. The Principal Secretary, Horticulture Department has sent a circular in this connection to all the departmental officers asking them to suggest alternatives to the people with a view to preventing the use of harmful chemicals.
It may be mentioned that some people are using harmful chemicals and non-edible colours for increasing crops yield, productivity, artificial ripening, long-term storage and marketing of rotting products, which is affecting the health of both human beings and animals.
The circular says that though there are other agencies as well for penalizing such people but it is also our duty to prevent the use of harmful chemicals. We should also suggest such alternatives to people so that they can increase productivity and quantum of their crop yield with improved quality. The circular calls for launching a drive for informing farmers, stockists and sellers about these methods. Such information should also be provided at agriculture and horticulture fairs and seminars and symposium on agriculture.
In this connection, Director Horticulture informed that only hybrid and improved seeds should be used with a view to preventing the use of harmful chemicals in horticulture crops. Maximum quantity of organic manure and insecticides should also be used to increase the crop yield apart from most modern methods of irrigation including drip irrigation and sprinklers. This will lead to increased crop yield as well as water conservation. The prevalence of zero energy cool chambers should be promoted in villages for storage of products.
The primary producers should use such crates and appliances which save the products from being damaged so that their quality and shelf life are ensured. During the transportation and marketing process, the products should be kept under shade with a view to maintaining their freshness.
The circular also calls for making consumers partners in the campaign to prevent use of harmful colours and non-edible colours. They should be asked to ensure while purchasing shining and attractively colours fruits and vegetables whether such chemicals have been used on them.