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Issue 81
, 2017
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India must detoxify its poisoned farmlands

Source: Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Date: , 2017

Source: Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Oct 18, 2017:- Last week, the Maharashtra government registered a police complaint against three pesticide companies and Krishi Seva Kendras (agro-input centres) for selling pesticides not recommended for the region after 32 farmers from Vidarbha died of poisoning. The agriculture department, which is responsible for educating farmers about pesticides, found highly toxic and expensive ones were being sold to unsuspecting farmers by the firms to earn profits. While the deaths indicate failure of the department itself, the genesis of the crisis dates back to the time of the Green Revolution in the 1960s when the need was felt to sharply increase crop productivity to ensure food security. This problem --- increase in the use of pesticides --- is not an India-specific problem: Since 1950, population has doubled, yet the area of arable land used to feed these people has increased by only 10%.

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