August 6, 2015
Farmers, directly supplying vegetables to Kerala, have demanded the District Administration to issue them with certificate to ensure that their regular trading remained unaffected. Kerala Government has issued a restriction against entry of vegetables and fruits high in pesticide content. The certificate was to show that the produce going from Tamil Nadu contained pesticide within permissible limits.
They have also demanded for introducing regulatory measures to reduce the use of pesticide and promote organic farming.
Recently the Kerala State Government declared banning entry of vegetables and fruits from Tamil Nadu, if it contained pesticide above the permissible level. Since this would affect thousands of farmers and traders in Tamil Nadu, the State Government began the distribution of certificates for vendors.
Officials from Department of Food Safety and Department of Agriculture conducted special camps on Tuesday at various markets in the Coimbatore District a week ago to distribute certificates.
According to sources, about 200 trucks are transporting vegetables regularly from the major markets of Coimbatore.
But farmers, who directly supply vegetables to Kerala, have not been issued with certificates. Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangham, President Valukkuparai Balu alias Balasubramanian, said: “Thousands of farmers along the border areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, including Coimbatore and Tirupur districts, are used to selling their vegetables in Kerala. Since they have not been issued with certificates, farmers are left in a helpless state. If the trucks of farmers were inspected by officials from Kerala they would incur loss and cannot sell their produce after that.”
According to him, the current system of issuing certificate is inefficient and not the right way to control the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers for cultivating fruits and vegetables. “The State Government should come out with proper scientific system of assessing the chemical content in the vegetables before issuing certificates and also create awareness among the farmers regarding it. Otherwise, the same issues will arise in the future,” he added.
The Non Political Tamil Nadu Agriculturists’ Association President, N. S. Palanisamy, said: “Farmers are using excess chemical fertilizers and pesticides to increase production. It can be controlled by formulating a regular awareness programme among farmers. This has to be done by the State Government, as it is its responsibility.”