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Pakistan

by Rasheed Bashir Mazari

Introduction

The economy of Pakistan is largely based on agriculture. It contributes about 25 percent to the national economy, provides employment for over 44 percent of the labour force and is main source of income in rural areas, which accounts for 70 percent of total population. The well being of the economy depends largely on the production, processing and distribution of major products such as cotton, wheat, edible oil, sugar, milk and meat. In the last decade, agriculture grew at an annual average rate of 4.5 per cent and exhibited fluctuating trend mainly on account of weather conditions, pest attacks on crops, shortage of inputs and little attention given to its subsectors other than crop farming.

Plant protection measures currently comprise, largely, of the use of pesticides, which has grown from about 915 tons (230 tons active ingredient) in 1981 to 129 000 tons (28 500 tons active ingredient) in 2004. With regard to use, the most heavily covered crop is cotton followed by paddy, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables. Cotton alone accounts for about 70 percent of the total consumption of active ingredient of pesticides and this has resulted in the phenomenal rise in cotton production in the country.

The use of pesticides in Pakistan commenced in 1952. It started with the introduction of an aerial spraying program on the key crops such as, cotton, rice and sugarcane. Simultaneously, pesticides were also used for locust control. The desert locust control program was organized through an international network coordinated by the FAO.

Before 1971, pesticides to be imported were standardized by the Federal Government through Department of Plant Protection (DPP), since no rules and regulations were in place.

Agricultural Pesticides Ordinance (APO) was promulgated in 1971 to regulate import, manufacture, formulation, sale, distribution, use and advertisement of pesticides. Agricultural Pesticides Rules were made thereunder in 1973 and the whole business was put under regular standardization and registration with the help of Provincial Agriculture Departments. Pesticides are registered under the trade name (Form-1) after efficacy evaluation trials of two crop seasons by at least two research agencies including Provincial and Federal ones. The products to be approved under this scheme are first standardized by the provincial Governments with final approval granted by the Federal Government on advice of Agricultural Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee (APTAC). It normally takes three years to get a product approved under Form-I scheme.

In 1993, two new kinds of registration (Form-16 & Form-17) viz.; Generic Scheme and Permission/Registration Abroad Scheme were launched. Generic name registration is granted to products designated by the Federal Government, which are no valid patent right and are already tested and trialed on Farm-1. Permission (Registration Abroad) Scheme is conditional to the registration of new chemistries that are prior registered and used in any of the OECD countries or China. The result of liberalized policy of 1992 has been phenomenal. Import from diversified sources and induction of more than 350 new entrepreneurs as against about 30 until 1993 have given the desired results i.e. enhancement of healthy competition and the availability of effective and inexpensive pesticide products. Pesticide is the only agricultural input where the prices of frequently used products are either contained or have declined by 30-40 percent generally and in few cases even up to 62 percent specially reduction in price despite devaluation of Pak Rupee.

The registration position of pesticide compounds under various schemes is as follows:

Form-1

192

Form-16 (Generic)

58

Form-17 (Registered Abroad)

155

Department of Plant Protection under the policy advice of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Livestock has the mandate of registration and management of pesticides meant for the plant/crop protection or agriculture purpose.

Recently the Federal Government has taken up the revision of Agricultural Pesticides Act (APA) to make it abreast with the recent developments in the world. Draft of APA 2005 is ready for approval of the competent for authority.

A. Pest and pesticide management

Reliance on IPM has been stressed in the National Agricultural policy of Pakistan in 1980. The National Agricultural Commission in its report published in March 1988 has given broad out lines of IPM and recommended that IPM techniques should be adopted for major crops by 1992 or 1993 and for all crops by 1995.

Excessive use of pesticide is checked through pest warning/scouting system executed by the provincial agricultural departments. Farmers are advised through print and electronic media to undertake application of pesticides only when the pest population crosses the economic threshold level (ETL). In this way judicious use of pesticides is encouraged. The Government has also instituted a National Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme to minimize the use of pesticides.

Similarly trainings are imparted to farmers in safe handling, use and application of pesticides by the provincial governments and the technical staff of the industry.

B. Testing, quality control and effects in the field

The legislation on the specifications of pesticides already exists in the Agricultural Pesticides Rules 1973. Method of analysis involves CIPAC, AOAC, PAC etc.

The check on the quality of pesticides, curbing the practice of sale of adulterated/ sub-standard pesticides, is maintained through network of inspectors and pesticides laboratories. Officers of provincial Agriculture Department are appointed as inspectors. Their position is as follows:

Punjab

-

232

Sindh

-

074

N.W.F.P

-

157

Baluchistan

-

092

Federal (Department of Plant Protection)

-

015

There are at present 10 pesticides laboratories with Public/Semi-Government sector, 29 with the private sector. Additionally under new legislation 50 repackaging units are also required to established pesticides laboratories.

C. Health and environment information

Government with the coordination of industry takes care of human health and the environment. Rules 37 to 41 specially mention all the requirements, which are necessary for Health and Environment.

There are regular surveys on occupational poisoning cases among farmers and industrial workers. Two poison centers are established in the country. One is in Faisalabad and the other is in Karachi.

D. Trends in pesticide manufacturing, use and trade

Local manufacturing in the country is very limited and is restricted to aluminium phosphide, copper oxychloride and zinc phosphide only. Local formulation has increased from 14 percent in 1984 to about 70 percent of the total supply in 2004. There are over two dozen formulation plants in the country. For local formulation, the technical grade of a pesticide and other substances including emulsifier, carrier and stabilizer etc. are imported separately, which, together with a solvent, generally xylene (locally available), are blended in precise proportions to produce the finished product. Due to increasing consumption of pesticides, different advanced technologies are required for new formulations.

E. Selected standards

Occupational Hazards

The Government has taken appropriate measures to ensure safety in use of pesticides. Pesticides are not allowed to be handled by persons not having prior approval of their activities from the government. The government has enforced legislation requiring registration of pesticides dealers/venders, distributors, formulators and re-packers. The license for dealership/vending is issued only to a person who has been duly trained in safe storage, transportation and use of pesticides. The distributors, inter alia, are required to employ adequate number of agricultural graduates to ensure safety in handling and judicious use of pesticides. The formulators/re-packers are likewise required to have arrangements of safe storage, proper waste disposal and regular medical check up of workers. No manual re-packing/re-filling is permitted. The importers/formulators are required to undertake to supervise re-packing/re-filling and labeling process carried out at a plant duly registered and pass on pesticides to the distributors, dealers/vendors only in retail packing. No person can store pesticides unless permission for the same is issued to him.

Packaging

All packaging is done at registered plants using automatic/semi-automatic filling system. Most liquid pesticides, depending on their chemical nature, are filled in CO-EX and PET bottles or tin cans. Bottles have seals, caps and shrink wraps over them. Powder pesticides are packed in hermetically sealed sachets and granules are packed in plastic bags further contained in cotton bags. The packaging ensures that pesticides are not deteriorated during their shelf-lives as well as there is no leakage.

Labelling

The Agricultural Pesticides Rules provides an exhaustive guideline for labeling following the FAO Guideline covering necessary aspects of safety. Appropriate warning symbol in accordance with the WHO's recommendation is displayed on label. Withholding period of pesticides is also required to be mentioned.

Application methods

Foliar application through knap-sack/power sprayers is most popular followed by the tractor-mounted sprayers. Some pesticides are sprayed by ULV sprayers as well. Granular pesticides are broadcast manually. Use of protective clothing/gears is little due to hot and humid conditions prevailing in the fields. Special protective clothing/gears are required to be developed suiting to the climatic conditions.

Phasing out severely toxic pesticides

Pakistan is the one of the few countries in the region to have banned use of all severely toxic and hazardous pesticides included in the PIC and POP list in the early 1990s. In addition to PIC/POP pesticides, several other pesticides have also been banned. Recently the government is considering to ban all formulations of monocrotophos and methamidophos. Practically no pesticide falling in the WHO Category I is used. Due to availability of comparatively safe new chemistry molecules and IGRs at competitive prices, the use of pesticides falling into WHO Category II is also declining. List of banned pesticides is enclosed.

Pesticides disposal

The Agricultural Pesticides Rules provides that the destruction and removal of the empty packages and pesticides remains shall be affected in such a manner that sources of water supply are not contaminated. The unclean packages shall be destroyed in a way as to preclude the possibility of their being reused for any purpose other than as base material. Further procedures for disposal of surplus pesticides and pesticides containers have been notified in 1984 encompassing small use, commercial and municipal use, in situ-disposal; organized disposal and landfill disposal sites.

National legislation and enforcement

National legislation exists in the form of Agricultural Pesticides Ordinance 1971 which is supported by the Agricultural Pesticides Rules 1973. The Rules are amended from time to with the approval of Agricultural Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee (APTAC). APTAC is at liberty to nominate sub committees and can entrust them specific duties.

Liberalization of pesticide trade had been welcomed because it had given benefit to the farmers. Unfortunately, this has not been entirely problem free. Some unscrupulous elements found opportunity to indulge in unethical activities such as:

These malpractices are affecting the plant protection quality and causing damage to the environment.

Problems

Lack of awareness

The farmers have inadequate knowledge about pesticides as to their suitability, application techniques and safety measures. This is one of the reasons of poor pest control, environmental pollution and health problems in some areas. Programs for guidance of the farmers in this respect are far and few. The pesticide industry does not put sufficient resources on dissemination of knowledge on pests, pesticides, environment and management techniques. In this area there is great scope of extension work in the public sector.

Identification of pest problem

The stage of a particular insect pest is extremely important while determining the need for chemical treatment. Few insects can only be controlled at a particular stage where they have weak links in their life cycle. Care should be taken that the chemical sprays are directed where the pests are available. Clean cultivation helps to achieve better pest control. Those farmers who pay attention to these points, get more yield.

Selection of pesticides

Normally selective chemicals appear to offer an almost ideal means of pest control. However, only a few such chemicals have been discovered and developed for commercial use. The pesticides that are harmless to predators and parasites are ideal for IPM program. Although their numbers are limited but they are being widely recommended. Pesticides like Emamectin Benzoate, Abamectin, indoxacarb and spinosad are known to be selective in their mode of action. Until more selective pesticides are commercially available at reasonable expenses more judicious use of pesticides should be made.

Underdosing

Underdosing of pesticides brings more harm than benefit in the shape of triggering development of resistance in the pests. To get good control of pests, the recommended doses should be used. Sometimes the farmers reduce the dose thinking that the pest pressure is not much. Underdosing is helping in the resurgence of the pests. The problem of pest control is exaggerated. Insects develop resistance to insecticides more rapidly if underdosing is used. Small farmers tend to use less dose of pesticide.

Indiscriminate use of pesticides

Plant protection has become very specific and objective oriented. It is important to identify the problem first and then buy the chemical otherwise the money will go waste. Indiscriminate use will eliminate natural enemies and cause secondary pests to develop. Field biologists have studied the effects of improper pesticide use. The indiscriminate use of pesticides results in unsatisfactory pest control, environmental pollution and health problems.

LIST OF PESTICIDES BANNED IN PAKISTAN

Active Ingredients

1.

B.H.C

2.

Binapacryl

3.

Bromophos ethyl

4.

Captafol

5.

Chlordimeform

6.

Chlorobenzilate

7.

Chlorthiophos

8.

Cyhexatin

9.

Dalapon

10.

DDT

11.

Dibromochloropropane + Dibromochloropropene

12.

Dicrotophos

13.

Dieldrin

14.

Disulfoton

15.

Endrin

16.

Ethylene dichloride + Carbontenachloride

17.

Leptophos

18.

Mercury Compound

19.

Mevinphos

20.

Toxaphene

21.

Zineb

22.

Heptachlor

23.

Methyl Parathion

24.

Monocrotophos (all formulations)

25.

Methamidophos (all formulations)

Formulations

Dichlorvos (above 500 g/l)
Phophamidon (above 500 g/l)

Pesticides Not Registered

Aldrin (POP/PIC)
Mirex (POP)
Chlordane (POP/PIC)
Dinoseb (PIC)
Ethylene di bromide (PIC)
Parathion (PIC)
Fluroacetate (PIC)

QUESTIONNAIRE SUMMARY

Pakistan

Selected Country Statistics:

Agricultural Population

75 million

Agricultural Land

22.1 million ha

GDP $68 815 million

Agric. GDP: 23.2%

GNI per capita: $470

Hunger: 20%

FAOSTAT Pesticide Data

Export $0.6 million

Import: $59.6 million

Use: 22 482 ton

GDP = Gross Domestic Product; GNI = Gross National Income; Hunger = Population below minimum energy requirement; FAOSTAT = latest data entry between 1998 and 2002

Institutional Profile

Ministry

Legislation

Registration

Licensing

Enforcement

Testing

Training

Monitoring

Environm.

Health

Agriculture

MINFAL

PPD

PPD






Environment









Health









Other




Fed, Prov, Dist

Public/Private

Public/Private

Public/Private

Public/Private

Industry Associations: CropLife Pakistan, PCPA, PIFA
Non-Governmental Associations: Farmer Vision Forum, Punjab Pesticide Dealer Assoc.

A. Pest and Pesticide Management

IPM policy declared?

Yes

IPM mentioned in...



Crop Protection Policy?

Yes

Agric. Sector Policy?

Yes

Other laws/documents?

Yes

National IPM Program?

Yes



Dept: NARC


IPM extension projects?

Yes

IPM research projects?

Yes

Pest resistance problems?

-


B. Testing, Quality Control and Effects

Laws for pesticide specifi cations?

Yes

Low quality products in market?

-

Quality control laboratory?

Yes


Own analyses in 2004:


Outside analyses in 2004:



C. Health and Environmental Information

Data on pesticide poisoning cases?

-


occupational exposure cases:


accidental exposure cases:


intentional/suicide cases:


Pesticide poison facilities?

Yes


Number of facilities: 2


Poison Information and Control Centers?

Yes


Number of centers: 1


Significant environmental contamination?

-

Data on effects on wildlife & ecosystems?

-

Pesticide residue monitoring system?

Yes


Number of analyses 2004:



D. Pesticide Manufacture, Use and Trade

Pesticide Volume

Tons

$'000 Value

Imports

40 482

147 860

Manufacture

89 116

63 020

Exports

0

0

Sales




(formulated)


Pesticide Use Profile

Tons

$'000 Value




Agriculture (total)

129 598

172 300

Insecticides

94%


Fungicides

2%


Herbicides

5%


Other

0%


Veterinary

1 000

3 350

Public Health

200

670

Household

5

16

Other



TOTAL




E. Selected Standards of Code of Conduct

Illegal trade estimates?

Yes


Estimated amount 2004: none


Collection of old containers and pesticides?

Yes

Inventory of outdated/obsolete products?

Yes

Operational pesticide registration system?

Yes


Violations in 2004


Existing facility licensing system?

Yes


Inspections in 2004


Highly toxic products restricted?

Yes

Questionnaire responses: Yes = Yes; - = No;? = don't know; (blank) = no answer


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