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Falling Prey to Fake Pesticides? Follow this Guide

Fake pesticides pose a grave threat to India's agricultural sector, causing substantial losses to farmers and jeopardizing food security. It is important to be able to identify them before it is too late!

Sarbani Bhattacharjee
Falling Prey to Fake Pesticides? Follow this Guide (This image has been created with MidJourney)
Falling Prey to Fake Pesticides? Follow this Guide (This image has been created with MidJourney)

The distribution of fake pesticides in India has reached alarming levels, with counterfeit products constituting approximately 30 percent of the total crop protection market. Despite efforts to regulate the industry, farmers remain vulnerable to counterfeiters due to a lack of awareness and inadequate authentication measures. Illiteracy and reliance on visual cues make it difficult for them to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit products.

Hence, farmers must equip themselves with knowledge and tools to fix this problem. Let’s understand hands-on strategies for Indian farmers to pick the right pesticides.

QR Codes, Barcodes, and Holographic Labels:

QR codes and barcodes are efficient and cost-effective authentication tools for farmers. By scanning these codes using smartphones, farmers can instantly verify the authenticity of pesticide products. Government initiatives, such as the Indian Government Kisan Call Centre can help get easy access to information through toll-free numbers and SMS services.

Moreover, holographic labels and tamper-evident packaging offer visual cues that farmers can easily recognize to ensure the authenticity of purchased products. These security features not only prevent tampering and counterfeiting but also instill confidence in farmers regarding the genuineness of the pesticides they use.

Pesticide Names and Packaging:

One must verify the pesticide name, ensuring it includes the common name in both English and regional languages, along with the percentage content and dosage form. Besides, it is necessary to confirm the presence of the certifications needed: product standard certificate number, production license (APPROVAL) certificate number, and pesticide registration certificate number.

An easy method is to scan the QR code on the label to verify its authenticity and ensure consistency with the pesticide registration certificate. Moreover, examine the pesticide label color, which typically corresponds to its type (e.g., green for herbicides, red for insecticides).

Pesticide Appearance

Pesticides in the powder form should appear as loose powder with a uniform color. Emulsion oils must be a uniform liquid without precipitation or suspension. Suspension emulsions should not display caking and liquid solutions ought to appear homogeneous without precipitation or suspended solids.

Ensure to report suspected cases of fake pesticides to local agricultural authorities or regulatory bodies for investigation. Preserve evidence, including packaging, labels, and any relevant documentation, to support claims of counterfeit products.

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