Pesticides Manufacturing Industry

By Haidari, Iqbal | Economic Review, July 1991 | Go to article overview
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Pesticides Manufacturing Industry

Haidari, Iqbal, Economic Review

Pesticides Manufacturing Industry


Insects are the most numerous of living organisms and constitute about 75 per cent of all animals (by number of species). Of these a big number of species are attacking the living beings by transmitting the diseases. Insects are important pests and must be controlled in order to preserve modern standards of health and agriculture productivity. The monetary values of the damages caused by insects are difficult to assess.

Insecticides/pesticides are the principal weapons to control these insect pests, especially when pest members have acceded the economic threshold above which sufficient damage occurs. It is estimated that, on the average, in agriculture, insecticidal control returns five times of the amount invested/spent by way of the usage of insecticides.

Insecticides have displayed unexpected capacities for reducing the hidden toll exerted by endemic pests population upon healthy plants. They have provided the only practical means for curbing the ravages of destructive plant viruses transmitted by feeding of aphids and leaf hoppers.

In view of the complex nature of insects/pests and diseases and the apprehensions of resistance being developed by them against chemicals, a wide variety of insecticide have been and are being used for their control. During the last twenty years or so, more sophisticated pesticides have been developed. The use of these pesticides/insecticides has gone up in the recent past.

In Pakistan, the basic manufacture of insecticides/pesticides is practically non-existent. Only BHC and DDT are being manufactured in the country. The number of pesticides/insecticides used in Pakistan is around 80, while consumption per annum is around 14500 tonnes. Most of the insecticides are being imported against foreign exchange expenditure of about Rs. 1670 million every year. It is therefore, felt that the basic manufacture of pesticides is vital for Pakistan so as to save the foreign exchange expenditure being incurred annually on their importation.

Pakistan is suffering a loss to the tune of Rs. 6.500 billion in major food and cash crops due to pests and diseases every year. This loss can be described as colossal, compared with the worst flood damage of 1973-74 which stood at Rs. 2110 million.

According to a research study conducted on "Pest Management", losses by pest is a permanent feature while flood come once a while. Reviewing the importance of "Pest Management" and the extent of damage caused to crops by pests in the under-developed countirs like Pakistan, the study stated: "It is generally admitted that pests destroy upto one-third of the world food crop during growth, harvest and storage in developing countries, crop losses are even higher. According to the recent estimates the crop losses brought by destructive action of insects alone come to Rs. 151 per acre. FAO estimates that without proper plant protection measures, 50 per cent of the cotton production in developing countries would be destroyed by pests. FAO further estimated that the world was losing 33 million tonnes of food grains due to the damage caused by insects, fungi, mite etc., in storage. This amounts to 1.3 ounce of food per man per day".

With a view to achieving the desired results in pest control, the study suggested several preparation of comprehensive research programme on each crop, training of farmers in pest control, establishment of a registration authority in Department of Plant Protection with branches in provinces for the registration of pesticides, destruction of old Pesticides in Government stock, involvement of private sector in pest management activities and use of indigenous production of BHC, DDT which is the cheapest and can be used effectively in many situation.

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