There are few subjects in Pakistan agriculture that have aroused as much suspicion as the spraying of pesticides. Popularly characterised as “highly toxic”, pesticides have struggled to gain acceptance in the minds of the public despite the fact that all have been exhaustively tested and are often less hazardous than many of the chemicals that we consume in our daily diet. In this article we look at application in practice.
There are four main sorts of pesticide that are used in the Pakistan. These are; fungicides that control disease, herbicides that control weeds, insecticides that kill insect pests and growth regulators that prevent plants becoming too tall. When used sensibly in the farming system they provide us with healthy and affordable food and help maintain biodiversity (lots of wildlife) by allowing us to use less land to supply the food we need.
All pesticides must be kept, by law, in a secure locked container or shed that will contain a spill in the event of an accident. In addition all pesticides are classified under COSHH (control of substances hazardous to health) and given a hazard rating which is clearly displayed on the can along with comprehensive instructions for the operator. When handling pesticides, operators wear protective clothing as a matter of course even if the pesticide has no hazard rating and is technically harmless.