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A STUDY OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR PESTICIDE EXTENSION AND MARKETING SERVICES FOR COTTON CROP

Khooharo, Aijaz |Ali (2008) A STUDY OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR PESTICIDE EXTENSION AND MARKETING SERVICES FOR COTTON CROP. PhD thesis, Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam.

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Abstract

Consequent upon the institution of liberal policies by the Government of Pakistan in 1980s, aimed at transferring the import and sale of chemical pesticides to the private sector, numerous companies entered the country’s pesticide market. Easy imports, low prices and availability of a variety of pesticides were distinct advantages of these liberal policies. On the other hand, Agriculture Extension lacked the capacity and necessary expertise to monitor such a long range of pesticide products available in the market, reflecting imperfect competition and a high level of windfall profits. As a result, the sale of substandard pesticides is a common problem of farming community. Besides, overuse and misuse of pesticide by untrained farmers increased the health and environmental risks especially in the prime cotton growing districts. The status of pesticide industry in Sindh province was critically reviewed in the study, in the light of international experiences. Using survey method, 263 stakeholders (19 key respondents and 244 sample respondents) were interviewed during 2003-04. Knowledge of farmers and extension agents about proper selection, usage and safe handling of pesticides was assessed. Recommendations were developed regarding registration, monitoring and evaluation of pesticides and extension education programs for capacity building of farmers and extension agents. The status review revealed that the public sector has been able to train critical manpower (18% PhDs) in plant protection. Research on new active pesticide ingredients could not, however, be undertaken due mainly to non-availability of operational funds, advanced training, and appropriate equipment. The on-going public sector research program dealt with IPM related-technology and testing of efficacy of pesticides. Use of IPM techniques was found limited to research stations due mainly to poor extension services. Therefore, pesticide was the sole source of cotton pest control by majority of farmers. Three legal instruments for pesticide registration were in vogue; namely Form1, Form 16, and Form 17. Prerequisite for Form 1 is to test efficacy of pesticides for two consecutive years at two research stations while Form 16 and Form 17 are liberal schemes; and do not need any research trials. Due to easy registration, 47 and 36 percent of the pesticides are registered in Form 16 and 17 respectively. Only 17 percent pesticides are registered in Form 1. Square root regression model was developed on the import of pesticides in the country. Estimates of the proposed model revealed steeper growth trend than that of ordinary regression model; and it was much higher than agricultural productivity growth trend. Directorate General, Agriculture Extension, is responsible for monitoring and evaluation of pesticides. According to information provided by District Officers (Agriculture), the accused Dealers of adulteration and supply of substandard pesticides were penalized with minor fines due to specific legal and administrative shortcomings; while according to section 21/2b of Agricultural Pesticide Ordinance, provided for imprisonment of not less than six months and not more than two years, with fine which may extend to five hundred thousand rupees. Majority of the stakeholders including District Officers (Agriculture), Sales Executives, and Pesticide Dealers were dissatisfied with the present monitoring and evaluation system for pesticides. District Officers did not get due cooperation from police in lodging FIR and protocol in courts during hearing of pesticide cases. Sales Executives stated that the process of drawing samples was targeted and marred with corruption of the highest order. All Pesticide Dealers were of the opinion that pesticide companies be named in FIR when samples are declared unfit by the laboratories; because the companies supplied sealed pesticides and should be held responsible for any adulteration at their end. Local companies offered high profit margins (up to 30%) and incentive schemes including lotteries and foreign tours to the Dealers who, in addition, charged exorbitant interest rate of 30 to 40 percent per annum from the farmers while giving pesticides on loan. Unlike local companies, multinationals offered normal profit margins (up to 15%) to Dealers, supplied quality pesticides and imparted effective training programs for the capacity building of Contact Farmers and Pesticide Dealers. Total sale amount of insecticides in Sanghar, Nawabshah, and Naushahro Feroze districts was estimated to be Rs. 471.73 million in 2003-04. Top five insecticides in terms of weight were methamidophos (29%), endosulfan (12%), cypermetherin (9%), imidacloprid, (8%), and fenpropthrin (7%). The above ranking reflected the persistence of old groups of pesticides i.e. organophosphate, organochlorine and synthetic parathyroid in the market; while the recent literature revealed that cotton insect pests had developed resistance to these groups. Non-Contact Farmers’ knowledge was recorded to be significantly low (41%) regarding proper selection, usage and handling of pesticides; while corresponding averages scores for Contact Farmers, Field Assistants, and Pesticide Agents were 75, 57, and 97 percent respectively. Low level of knowledge of Non-Contact Farmers established the need for their training to mitigate health and environmental risks associated with the misuse of pesticides. Non-Contact Farmers’ channels of knowledge were landlords and Pesticide Dealers while Contact Farmers directly received information from representatives of pesticide companies. Role of public sector extension in disseminating proper information about pesticide was limited owing to institutional problems such as poorly motivated staff, inadequate operational funds, and lack of relevant technology. Private sector extension targeted large and progressive farmers to minimize the per unit costs. Non-Contact Farmers had to rely on Pesticide Dealers who had limited knowledge and profit maximization motives.Based upon the research findings, it was recommended that APO-71 may be reviewed and liberal pesticide registration schemes be rationalized. Monitoring and evaluation system of pesticides may be redesigned by appointing attorneys and introducing training programs and incentives for Chemists and Inspectors. Well designed extension education programs may be made mandatory for registration of companies. Alternate methods of pest control may be encouraged in the process. Agricultural extension activities such as the farmers’ field schools on IPM may be fully supported so as to optimize pesticide import bills, curtail health and environmental risks associated with the over/misuse of pesticides, and manage quality cotton production in the wake of trade globalization.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Subjects:Agriculture & Veterinary Sciences(a) > Agriculture(a1)
ID Code:2726
Deposited By:Mr. Javed Memon
Deposited On:02 Oct 2009 17:28
Last Modified:02 Oct 2009 17:28

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