PR: The excessive use of pesticides in agriculture is dangerous to crops, beneficial insects, human health and environment. This was stated by Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad while presiding over a meeting of technical committee of a Public Sector Development Project (PSDP) on National Pesticides Residues Monitoring System in Pakistan at PARC.
According to experts about 60% of horticultural crops contain pesticides residues above the maximum residues limits (MRLs) set by Joint FAO / WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). Moreover our water resources and flora are polluted with pesticides causing fish and honeybee population decline. Pesticides related health implications are relatively high due to socio-economic status of farming communities. The international supermarkets targeted by Pakistani exporters are insisting on pesticide residue testing. Since the functional labs in Pakistan are not of international standards hence our products have been the subject to EU notification.
PARC in consultation with provincial stakeholders had developed a five years PSDP project “National Pesticides Residues Monitoring System in Pakistan”. Provinces have nominated their respective focal persons. The main objective of the project is to establish a coordinated network of pesticides residues analysis laboratories as per ISO17025 standards, one each in all the provinces and Centre of Excellence at federal level.