Forum for Indian Journalists on Education, Environment, Health & Agriculture
A South Asian Initiative on Development Communication
Ram K Mudholkar

Director South Asia

DuPont Crop Protection

DuPont Crop Protection has recently petitioned Chief Ministers and Agriculture Ministers of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh urging them to take immediate steps to ensure farmers are protected against the growing menace of fake pesticides in the states. 

1. Please tell us why DuPont felt the need to come out and alert government and farmers about this issue.

In the recent past, we have received many complaints of instances of spurious and fake pesticides sold by the retailers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh which is not only impacting the sales, but also our reputation. DuPont’s strong R&D ensures world-class latest technology and safer products for the farmers. However when farmers go and buy the products they are duped by the sellers which brings bad name to the company, besides causing immense losses to farmers. This is alarming and as a responsible player, we felt it important to alert people about this. DuPont Crop Protection has also launched a campaign to educate farmers on how to protect against fake pesticides. 

2. What are fake pesticides? Are counterfeits same as fake pesticides?

According to estimates, the fake pesticides industry is worth Re 3000 cr in the country and the industry is grappling with this big challenge. Fake pesticides contain anything from water or talc to diluted and outdated or obsolete pesticide stocks, including banned or restricted chemicals. Though some fakes may provide a degree of biological control, as they sometimes contain an illegal and untested copy of the proprietary active substance, these products cause harm to environment and farmers in the long run. These also include bio products illegally laced with chemical pesticides. While counterfeits, which are sophisticated copies of legitimate, branded products, result in adverse side effects on crop, farmers and environment. At the national level, effective control of pesticide counterfeiting requires teams of multidisciplinary specialists with skills in policing and prosecution, chemicals, agriculture, customs, and environment

3. How are fake or counterfeit pesticides harmful?

Counterfeit pesticides which are untested and unauthorized result in not only yield losses for farmers, but also potentially pose risks to human health, the environment and farmers’ livelihoods. Fake pesticides also cause loss to State’s exchequer as most spurious pesticide manufacturing and sale operations are conducted without bills and invoices. Realizing the grave risks that the sale of fake and counterfeit pesticides pose to the health of Indian agriculture, the Union Agriculture Ministry recently launched the Grow Safe Food campaign and issued a set of advisory for dealers and retailers of crop protection products.

4. What would you advise farmers so that they are not duped in future?

Farmers should follow some simple steps to ensure they are not cheated. They must ask for an original invoice and buy products from authorized dealers and distributors who have Principal Certificate to sell the product. They must buy on original bill which is a tax invoice, mentioning TIN number & PAN number clearly. They should also ask retailers about the authenticity of the product. Also if farmers are getting the same product at half the price then they should be beware of it as it might be a counterfeit. To deal with such issues DuPont have introduced DuPont™ Izon®, a secure authentication technology which is a visible 3D security system with a unique code that helps farmers identify DuPont crop protection brands. The company has also advised government to take a series of measures to address this problem. Sensitize district agriculture officials and advising them to initiate actions against those indulging in these criminal activities. Rigorous sampling at retailer’s shops should become a standard practice in order to enforce provisions of Insecticides Act, 1968 and Insecticide Rules, 1971 and Legal Metrology Act, 2009. Surprise checks of shops / godowns where pesticide products are sold / stored. Mass awareness programs for farmers in partnership with the industry. 

5. Please share with us some of the initiatives taken by DuPont Crop Protection for the farmers.

We have been doing regular media workshops and trying to create awareness among public and farmers through newspapers reports. We are also petitioning district magistrates, superintendent of police as well as agriculture ministers and chief ministers of various states. We disseminate knowledge materials among dealers, distributors and farmers to sensitize them on the perils of fake and counterfeit pesticides. We have also introduced a special technology, Izon® to help farmers identify original products.





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