Seminar in Karachi on Injudicious use of pesticides damage health, environment and agriculture -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Seminar in Karachi on Injudicious use of pesticides damage health, environment and agriculture

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Date: February 15,2007
Location: Vicky Zeitlin Media Library, Press Centre, Karachi

(Speakers: left to right)- A Samiuzzaman, Mirza Arshad Ali Beg, Samina Ishaque, Ejaz Ahmed, Asif Mohammad Khan

Injudicious use of pesticides damage health, environment and agriculture

A Seminar on Evaluating Effects of Use of Pesticides in Pakistan was organised by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) at its Vicky Zeitlin Media Library, Press Centre on 15th February, 2007.

Agricultural and environmental experts were invited to speak on the judicious use of pesticides to protect crops against pests, boost productivity and to restore natural means where possible.

They spoke on creating awareness amongst farmers on the sensible and judicious use of pesticides and bio-pesticides to prevent crops from damage through pests attacks, besides reducing annual financial expenditures of pesticides.

President Pakistan Environmental Assessment Association, Dr. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg said pesticides were initially introduced in Pakistan to control the menace of locusts, whih soon became a necessity to meet the demands of the Green Revolution of the 1960s.

Pesticides’ use in agriculture rose in Pakistan during the past decades, rising from 665 tonne in 1980 to 14,742 tonne in 1990 and to 46,000 tonne in the year 2000,continuing to increase to higher levels to date.

It is ironic how highly toxic pesticides are being used in Pakistan that have serious affects on crops, animals, insects, the whole environment and the persons exposed to the poisons.

Landlords and farmers have succumbed to multi-national companies’ aggressive marketing campaigns to promote the use sprays,regardless of some them being banned by the government.

He said excessive pesticides’ use has created several agricultural, ecological and environmental health issues, including pest resistance.

Bio pesticides would not adversely affect crop if the use of indigenous resources was encouraged and Pakistani products were advertised as being free of chemical pesticides.

In effect, the fertilisers would fetch higher prices in the international market, with the resultant decline in the cost of production. Absence of adulteration and expired pesticides would improve the quality of edible consumer items.

Chief Executive, Global Environmental Laborataries, Dr. A. Samiuzzaman said years

Discussion with the participants
of excessive use of pesticides has resulted in genetically modified mosquitoes that have developed immunity to mosquito eradicator drugs.

He said there are limitations to the use of bio-pesticides, such as ineffectiveness after a period. While many are less toxic than conventional pesticides and pose a lower risk, others can be quite toxic. He clarified natural products are not neccessarily toxic but need to be modified or alternated.

Deputy Director General, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Dr. Ejaz Ahmed said the long-term biodiversity is threatened by the heavy use of pesticides due to bioaccumulation.

Persistence of pesticides in the environment reduces fertility and increases the mortality rate which would affect the the numerous species of water birds and other small fauna in Pakistan, including crop friendly creatures.

He also said the pesticides were becoming increasingly potent. The run-off from fields which reached ground water, lakes and rivers, damaged aquatic ecosystems and poisoned organisms.

Chief Executive, CropLife Pakistan, Asif Muhammad Khan said dumping obsolete chemicals was banned throughout the world but such sites were present in Pakistan.

He called for joint effort from industries, Non Government Organisations and the government to increase public awareness to improve medical management for poison control with chemicals.

It was suggested that instructions by the manufacturers of the spray should be strictly adthered to. The quality of equiment must not be compromised. Frequent and continuous use should be avoided as much as possible.

He said there are beneficial outcomes from sensible and judicious use of pesticides and that pesticides will continue to be a vital tool in the diverse range of technologies that can maintain and improve living standards for the people.

Dr. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg, President, Pakistan Environmental Assessment Association, Mr. Asif Mohammad Khan, Executive Director, CropLife Pakistan Dr. Ejaz Ahmad, Deputy Director General, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Dr. A. Samiuzzaman, Chief Executive, Global Environmental Lab addressed the seminar and Samina Ishaque was the moderator.


List of Speakers
Dr. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg
Pakistan Environmental Assessment Association
Dr. A. Samiuzzaman
Chief Executive
Global Environmental Lab
Dr. Ejaz Ahmed
Deputy Director General
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Asif Muhammad Khan
Executive Director
CropLife Pakistan
Samina Ishaque
Media Centre-Pakistan Press Foundation


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