Srinagar: The Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union (KVFGCD) has urged the Director General of Police (DGP) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to take action against dealers of substandard pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, and fertilizers.
In a press release issued today to Ziraat Times, the KVFGCD, which is an umbrella body of all fruit growers’ associations in the Valley, said that the arrival of substandard agricultural products is a major threat to the horticulture industry in J&K.
The association said that hundreds of bags of spurious fertilizers have been confiscated by the Enforcement wing of the Agriculture/Horticulture Departments in Sopore and Kulgam districts in recent weeks.
“The spray of pesticides, fertilizers in fruit orchards starts in the month of March every year and these commodities are always stored in bulk quantities by the concerned dealers well in advance,” the press release said.
“Since substandard fertilizers had already been confiscated by the Government authorities, the Valley based fruit growers Dealers have apprehension of substandard Fertilizers/Pesticides available with the Mafia dealers. The substandard fertilizer/pesticides will not damage only fruit orchards but indirectly it has effects on human lives as well,” it added.
The KVFGCD said that the horticulture industry is the backbone of J&K’s economy and that the use of substandard agricultural products could have a devastating impact on the livelihoods of millions of people.
“The KVFGCD, therefore, requests the DGP to initiate action against what it calls “mafia dealers” of insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers on the same pattern as has been taken against drug peddlers,” the press release said.
“This course of action is in the interest of human lives in particular and the horticulture industry in general,” it added.
The KVFGCD’s press release comes at a time when the J&K government is trying to boost the horticulture industry in the Valley. The government has launched a number of initiatives in recent years to improve the quality of fruit production and to increase exports.
The use of substandard agricultural products could jeopardize the government’s efforts to revive the horticulture industry in J&K.