BANEPA, March 15: According to the government statistics, the use of chemical pesticide in Kavre has decreased significantly over the years.
“From the fiscal year 2013/14, the use of chemical pesticide has decreased significantly. Farmers are giving priority to organic pesticide as an alternative and in recent times, farming is done based on Integrated Pest Management (IPM),” said Janardan Khadka, head of Agriculture Knowledge Center, Kavre.
According to the statistics of the center, 86 tons of chemical pesticide were used in fiscal year 2013/14 whereas in fiscal year 2017/18, only 71 tons of chemical pesticide were used in the district. “Farmers have not only decreased the use of chemical pesticide but they are also following the time period to wait for some days after using the chemical pesticide,” said Khadka.
Prabha Shrestha, a local of Panchkhal-6, has claimed that the use of chemical pesticide in Panchkhal area has declined compared to previous years. “It has been many years now that we are using organic pesticide instead of chemical pesticide. You can inspect our fields. We have become aware about the safe production of vegetables,” said Shrestha.
Earlier, locals engaged in commercial farming even used chemical pesticide in off season vegetables. “We used to spray chemical pesticide directly after planting potato. From the discussion with technicians of the agriculture branch of the Municipality, Maslawali Development Center, Agriculture Knowledge Center and the plant clinic, we are using safe pesticide and only if needed,” said Laxmi Shrestha, chairperson of the Brahmaniya Mahila Krishak Group.
“Earlier farmers used to ask chemical pesticide to instantly kill insects but now farmers have started to ask for pesticide which will kill the insects but does not hamper human beings, animals and the environment,” said Saroj Sapkota, operator of Purano Bisadi Pasal. This approach has led to safe production of vegetables in the district.
The Rapid Bioassay of Pesticide Residue (RBPR) lab at the Agriculture Knowledge Center in Dhulikhel collects samples of vegetables from Panchkhal and Keraghari area and carries out tests. The lab recently collected 15 samples of tomato, okra, brinjal, cucumber,bitter gourd and bottle gourd.
During the inspection, the levels of pesticide in these products were found to be within the safety standard. “After the establishment of the lab, we have tested 70 samples of vegetables from Panchkhal and other areas,” said Sarita Sapkota, officer of the Agriculture Knowledge Center.
The RBPR lab has the capacity to test organophosphate in eight to 12 vegetables per day.