Adulterated pesticides

Adulteration is in vogue in our country. It is thought to be an easy method of earning money in spite of the fact that it is a high degree of crime. Severe punishments are executed for this throughout the world. Pakistan Penal Code also defines severe punishments in this regard but there are very few chances of executing and punishing the criminals over this crime. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, these laws are weak and it is very difficult to convict a person in court. Secondly, relevant law enforcement authorities do not have the will and efforts to control this evil. And finally, there are many loopholes in the system which are used by criminals to save themselves.

Pesticides are mostly imported into the country. These are in big containers and are commercially re-packed in the country. During this process, these are adulterated with sub-standard materials to increase their volume which ultimately deteriorates the quality. These pesticides are highly needed for crop protection against pests and crop diseases which ultimately increases the yield and profit of the farmer. A few crops are highly dependent on pesticides like cotton which require many sprays. If poor quality or adulterated pesticides are provided to the farmers, they lose a major part of their yield. These adulterated pesticides are a major issue in the cotton belt of Punjab and Sind. Unfortunately, relevant authorities have badly failed to control this problem. The result is obvious. Cotton cultivation has greatly decreased. A few years ago, Pakistan was the exporter of raw cotton but last year, we produced cotton which was less than 20 % of our requirement.

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The failure of the government to control pesticide adulteration led us to the destruction of our cotton crop. The result is the loss of a lot of foreign exchange which is used to import the raw cotton in order to run the textile industry. The price of imported raw cotton is higher than local which ultimately increases the prices of finished textile products. These relatively costly products are unable to compete in the global textile market. So, we can infer from all this discussion that weakness on the part of our government has caused a heavy loss to the country.

TARIQ MAHMOOD KHAN

Faisalabad

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