Estimates and Analysis of Farm Income in India, 1983-84 to 2011-12(Fodder on Agriculture , epw,essay)
HEATWAVE DEATHS, GDP GROWTH AND MISSED NUTRITION TARGETS(Fodder for Essay and GS)
[Audio] किसान टीवी चैनल का शुभारंभ विषय पर चर्चा
THE ROOT OF THE FARM CRISIS IN INDIA( Essay , Agriculture , Polity )
Introduction of ‘data exclusivity’ in pesticides Bill will affect farmers(Agriculture, Farmer,Polity,SciTech)
Certain clauses in the Bill threaten to delay the entry of affordable generic products in the market
Bill has the potential to create legal monopoly for agrochemicals and
pesticides, making them unaffordable to small farmers ( Credit: Meeta
Ahlawat)While the Centre failed to introduce the
Pesticides (Amendment) Bill, 2008, in the budget session of the
Parliament, which adjourned sine die on Wednesday, a clause in the text
of the Bill poses a definite threat to India’s existing patent regime.
The pesticides Bill, which is supposed to replace the existing
Insecticides Act, 1968, includes “data exclusivity” (DE) for
agrochemicals which would delay the entry of affordable generic products
in the market.
However, the introduction of DE has been a long-pending demand of
multinationals, besides the removal of section 3(d) of the Indian Patent
Act, 1970, which bars them from extending unwarranted patents.
Why is DE undesirable?
Multinationals have been pushing for exclusive rights to
pharmaceutical test data submitted by them to drug regulation
authorities. It is a must for agrochemicals and pesticides companies to
submit data on the safety and efficacy of a new product to regulatory
If multinationals get exclusive rights, then they can keep data
regarding a drug’s safety and efficacy confidential for almost five
According to experts, this will block competition because generic
manufacturers, even if they want to register a drug, will not be allowed
to show that their products are therapeutically equivalent to
Talking to Down To Earth, Medecins Sans Frontieres’ (MSF) Leena
Menghaney said that if any product is given patent on data exclusivity,
no approval to any other generic version can be granted for the next
“This is even if the competitor proves that the physico-chemical
attributes are equivalent to those of the first applicant’s product,”
she added. MSF ensures the availability of medicines to the poor.
Earlier, secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association D
G Shah had alerted about the government’s plan to introduce the Bill
In a note written on a website dedicated to patents issues, he said,
“The Bill has a provision that not only makes India’s Intellectual
Property (IP) regime TRIPS plus, but would also eliminate competition
and create legal monopoly for agrochemicals and pesticides, making them
unaffordable to small farmers. The Bill proposes to introduce Data
Exclusivity for a period of five years.”
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS Agreement) sets the standards for intellectual property
protection in the world today.
It came into force on January 1, 1995 and is binding on all members
of the World Trade Organization (WTO). But nowadays, many developing
countries are being pressurised to adopt TRIPS Plus, a step beyond
If India were to go TRIPS Plus and introduce data exclusivity for
agrochemicals, pesticides and medicines, farmers and poor patients will
be denied access to affordable products.
Experts say this is not an unexpected development. In the past few
years, US multinationals, backed by their government and the United
States Trade Representative (USTR), have been seen pushing the Indian
government to grant patent on DE for agrochemicals and pharmaceutical
Experts have highlighted that granting DE would amount to a TRIPS
Plus agreement, which will adversely affect farmers and reduce access to
medicines in India.
The Bill was introduced by the previous government in which DE for
agrochemicals was included. The Bill is still pending in the Rajya
Sabha. The new government is under pressure from the US on introducing
it, according to experts.
Centre’s agriculture scheme completed only 62% projects in 6 years(DownToEarth ,Agriculture,Polity,GS Paper 3)
A new concept called ecological engineering to reduce pests ( Agriculture, The Hindu )
Erode district alone has 32,000 hectares under paddy cultivation. The district runs across the Cauvery and Bhavani river basin.
Due to unfavourable climatic conditions pest infestation such as rice stem borer, leaf folder, ear head bug, gall midge, rice thrips — all common in paddy cultivation — create havoc every season leading to nearly 30 per cent yield loss.
Many farmers mostly rely on chemical pesticides (insecticide and fungicide) for managing both pests and infestations. If they are advocates of organic farming then they use bio pesticides to keep the menace under control.
Presently a new technology called Ecological engineering for pest management has been introduced by National Institute of Plant Health Management (NIPHM), Hyderabad to aid farmers maintain the biodiversity and keep pests under control while at the same time maintaining the paddy eco-system.
Since in southern Tamil Nadu, it is season for paddy cultivation efforts are currently in progress to popularise this concept for promoting bio-intensive integrated pest management method.
The technology trial was adopted in Singiripalayam village and Mr. Karthikeyan, a paddy farmer who adopted this technology in his field, says:
“Due to excessive pesticide use farmers like me often encountered environmental problems. The soil health also got deteriorated. I find the new technology encouraging, since there is a 45 to 50 per cent reduction in pest population.
“I have also observed natural predators on pests like damsel fly, praying mantises and spider population have increased in my field.”
The specialist team conducted an analysis to study the pest defender ratio for plant health and found that the natural enemies are able to maintain the pest population which are infesting the paddy crop.
“In normal situation we use to go for chemical spray, sometimes even three to four sprays to control pests and diseases. By adopting this technique no chemical spray is required. Natural enemies which prey on the pests are allowed to flourish in the fields. By adopting this method I could save nearly Rs.5,000 for a hectare towards the cost of purchase of chemical pesticides during one cropping season,” says Mr.Haridas another farmer. The trial has been implemented for different crops such as blackgram, cowpea, green gram, mustard, sesame, marigold, tulsi, castor and sunflower and found effective.
The Kendra initiated a capacity building programme for farmers in the district and on farm training was given on production of bio-control agents and bio-pesticides to ensure the timely availability of bio-inputs at the farmer level.
“A collective approach by the farming community on adoption of this technology will not only suppress the pest population but also enhances the soil health through organic bio-fertilizer utility.
“About 25 farmers from Andhipalayam village near Gobichettipalayam and 30 farmers from Kallipatti in T.N.Palayam block have been initiated into this concept,” explains Dr. P. Alagesan, Programme Coordinator, Myrada Krishi Vigyan Kendra,, Gobichettipalayam, Erode.
A three days field training was organized for the farmer club members, to get first hand information on this approach and an exposure visit was organized by National Institute of Plant Health Management (NIPHM), Hyderabad for a week.
In both the villages, farmers are collectively involved in the production of bio-inputs, predators and parasites for managing the pest population.
The community approach on this ecological engineering is expected to bring the region as pesticide free zone and enhance the soil microbial activity in the paddy eco system. Plans are on to introduce this method in other crops like cabbage, cotton and groundnut in the coming season.