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Issues on Conventional Agriculture 

Keetnashak ya Vinashak (Pesticide)

Abstract: A local farmer turned filmmaker brings out the story of agriculture caught in the quagmire of toxic chemicals leading to high input cost, uncertain returns, degrading environment and ill health.

Author/s & Publications: Samaj Pragati Sahayog. Download/Link:

Crop Losses due to insect pests: Global and Indian Scenario

Abstract: The global losses due to insect pests have declined from 13.6% in post-green revolution era to 10.8% towards the beginning of this century. In India, the crop losses have declined from 23.3% in post-green revolution era to 15.7% at present. In terms of monetary value, Indian agriculture currently suffers an annual loss of about US$ 36 billion. The last two decades have witnessed a remarkable progress in various biopesticide strategies including the development of transgenic crops. Such strategies should be utilized in integrated pest management programs to reduce crop losses without affecting the quality of environment.

Author/s: & Publications: Dhaliwal, G.S., Vikas Jindal, and Bharathi Mohindru. 2015.  Download/Link:

State of Rural and Agrarian India Report 2020


Abstract: This report is an attempt to provide a comprehensive and critical overview of the state of contemporary rural India. It focuses on the key structural factors, especially policies and trends, that have marked rural India’s economic and ecological conditions. Through this report we wish to share alternative ideas, paradigms and methodologies to address these entrenched problems and challenges.

Author/s: Richa Kumar, Nikhit Kumar Agrawal, P.S. Vijayshankar, and A.R. Vasavi.  Download/Link: 

Impact of organic crops on insect diversity: a review of recent research

Abstract: The conversion of forests to conventional agroecosystems is one of the causes of biodiversity loss. In contrast, organic farming practices that promote caring for the environment are seen as an alternative that promotes increased biodiversity. Although insects have one of the largest impacts on crops, to date there have been no published studies that specifically synthetize information on the impacts of organic farming practices on insects. The results of 35 studies that compare the diversity of insects on organic and conventional crops were analyzed by combining a classic review with meta-analysis tools. The purpose was to determine whether organic crops promote better conservation of insects.

Author/s & Publications: María N. Montañez and Ángela Amarillo-Suárez, 2014. Download/Link: 

Epidemiological Study of High Cancer among Rural Agricultural Community of Punjab in Northern India

Abstract: Based on a citizen’s report, a house-to-house survey was conducted in Talwandi Sabo and Chamkaur Sahib Community Development Blocks in Bathinda and Roop Nagar District respectively in Punjab state located in a northern part of India to identify the number of existing cancer cases, and the number of cancer deaths that occurred in the last 10 years. Age adjusted prevalence of confirmed cancer cases per 100,000 population was 125 (107/85315) in Talwandi Sabo and 72 (71/97928) in Chamkaur Sahib. Cancer of female reproductive system, i.e., breast, uterus/cervix and ovary were more common in Talwandi sabo whereas cancer of blood and lymphatic system, esophagus, and bones were more common in Chamkaur Sahib.

Author/s : Thakur, J., B. Rao, Arvind Rajwanshi, H. Parwana, and Rajesh Kumar. 2008. Download/Link: 

Long-Term Impacts of Bt Cotton in India

Abstract: Most scholarship on the closely-watched case of genetically modified Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton in India has focused on short-term impacts and has also ignored other major changes in India’s cotton agriculture. This Perspective combines several data sources over a 20-year span to provide long-term comparisons of Bt adoption with yields and other inputs at both countrywide and state-specific scales. Bt cotton adoption is shown to be a poor indicator of yield trends but a strong indicator of initial reductions in pesticide use.

Author/s & Publication: Kranthi, K. R., and Glenn Davis Stone. 2020. Download/Link: 

Pesticide and Health UK Parliament Post

Abstract: Pesticides are highly regulated products that control pests, weeds and diseases. They help ensure food supply, safety and affordability. • People can be exposed to pesticides in different ways, including through direct or indirect routes. • Direct exposure comes from professional use of pesticides (often leading to the highest exposure levels) or from domestic use. • Indirect exposure occurs at lower doses through the environment, food and drink. • Evidence has not established true causal links between low-level, long term pesticide exposure and health impacts, but concerns from some stakeholders remain.

Author/s: Nicole Kennard and Cristiana Vagnoni (2021). Download/Link: 

Pesticides Destroy Our World

Abstract: Nine modules will address various aspects of concern: Warning! Pesticides are a Danger to your Health Breaking the Silence: Pesticides in Plantations Profiting from Poisons: The Pesticides Industry Drop Pesticides! Build a Sustainable World Pesticides Destroy our World Women and Pesticides Keeping Watch: Pesticides Laws How to say NO! to Pesticides: Community Organising Seeking out the Poisons: A Guide to Community Monitoring

Author/s: Michael di Bartolomeis, Revathi Ramachandran and Sarojeni V. Rengam (2001). Download/Link: 

Insect Pest Problems and Crop Losses: Changing Trends

Abstract: Insect pest problems in agriculture have shown a considerable shift during first decade of twenty-first century due to ecosystem and technological changes. While there has been an overall decline in the severity of Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner), the incidence of several other insect pests like mealy bugs, particularly Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley on cotton; sugarcane woolly aphid, Ceratovacuna lanigera Zehntner on sugarcane; and tobacco caterpillar, Spodoptera litura (Fabricius), on several crops, has shown an increasing trend. The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus), has consistently remained the most destructive pest of cruciferous vegetables.

Author/s & Publication: Dhaliwal, G.S., Vikas Jindal, and A.K. Dhawan. 2010. Download/Link: 

Why India continues to use lethal pesticides Health Impacts: Pesticides?

Abstract: One more evil has reared its ugly head in Maharashtra’s arid Vidarbha region, which has so far been infamous for farmer suicides. Some 35 farmers in the region have died of pesticide poisoning in last four months. Most of them were working in cotton and soybean fields and had inadvertently inhaled pesticides while spraying on crops.

Author/s & Publication: Sonam Taneja, 2017. Download/Link: 

Pesticides and health risks

Abstract: The promotion of high yielding varieties (HYV) that marked the green revolution has led to the large-scale use of chemicals as pesticides. Increase in the use of chemicals as pesticides can result in various health and environmental problems like pesticide poisoning of farmers and farm workers, cardiopulmonary, neurological and skin disorders, foetal deformities, miscarriages, lowering the sperm count of applicators, etc.

Author/s & Publication: Bag, Dinabandhu. 2000.. Download/Link: 

Pesticide Residues in Peri-Urban Bovine Milk from India and Risk Assessment: A Multicenter Study

Abstract: Plants respond to herbivory through various morphological, biochemicals, and molecular mechanisms to counter/offset the effects of herbivore attack. The biochemical mechanisms of defense against the herbivores are wide-ranging, highly dynamic, and are mediated both by direct and indirect defenses. The defensive compounds are either produced constitutively or in response to plant damage, and affect feeding, growth, and survival of herbivores. In addition, plants also release volatile organic compounds that attract the natural enemies of the herbivores. These strategies either act independently or in conjunction with each other. However, our understanding of these defensive mechanisms is still limited. Induced resistance could be exploited as an important tool for the pest management to minimize the amounts of insecticides used for pest control.

Author/s & Publication: Gill et al. 2020. Download/Link: 

Pesticide management for safe food and health

Abstract: Webinar on Why Government’s Proposal to Ban 27 Pesticides is a Welcome Development, July 11, 2020.

Author/s & Publication: Amit Khurana, 2020. Download/Link: 

Pesticide Residues in Food Grains, Vegetables and Fruits: A Hazard to Human Health

Abstract: Pesticides are widely used in agriculture mainly to increase crop yields to cater huge supply of food products for increasing world population as well as to protect crops from pests and control insect-borne diseases. Increased use of pesticides results in contamination of the environment and the excess accumulation of pesticide residues in food products, which has always been a matter of serious concern. Pesticide residues in food and crops are directly related to the irrational application of pesticides to the growing crops.

Author/s & Publication: Grewal, A.S., et al. (2017). Download/Link: 

Abstract: While all pesticides can be dangerous when used inappropriately, highly hazardous pesticides are always of particular concern due to the severe adverse effects they can cause to human health and the environment. They constitute a relatively small share of all pesticides registered globally, and yet they can cause the most harm. With adequate investment in scaling-up alternatives, especially existing and new ecological options for pest control, these pesticides that pose unacceptable risk to humans and the environment can be phased out from agriculture and their risk reduced in the health sector by appropriate actions.

Author/s & Publication: FAO and WHO. 2019.. Download/Link: 

Abstract: The increasing world population has therefore put a tremendous amount of pressure on the existing agricultural system so that food needs can be met from the same current resources like land, water etc. In the process of increasing crop production, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, nematicides, fertilizers and soil amendments are now being used in higher quantities than in the past. These chemicals have mainly come into the picture since the introduction of synthetic insecticides in 1940, when organochlorine (OCl) insecticides were first used for pest management. Before this introduction, most weeds, pests, insects and diseases were controlled using sustainable practices such as cultural, mechanical, and physical control strategies.

Author/s & Publication: Harsimran Kaur Gill and Harsh Garg 2014.. Download/Link: 

Abstract: Highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) may have acute or chronic toxic effects, posing particular risk to children, and are recognized as an issue of global concern. Their widespread use has caused health problems and fatalities in many parts of the world, often as a result of occupational exposure and accidental or intentional poisonings. Environmental contamination can also result in human exposure through consumption of residues of pesticides in food as well as possibly drinking-water. Although developed countries have sophisticated systems already in place to register pesticides and control their trade and use, this is not always the case elsewhere.

Author/s & Publication: WHO. Download/Link: 

Abstract: A study carried out by Rockfeller foundation (Herdt, 1991) reveals that seven out of 20 major challenges in rice production are insect pest and diseases. Among the biotic stresses insect pests cause about 10-15% yield losses. The average yield losses in rice have been estimated to vary between 21-51 per cent. Yellow stem borer, brown planthopper and gall midge were the key pests in rice causing 25-30%, 10-70% and 15-60% yield losses, respectively. At National level, stem borers accounted for 30% of the losses while planthoppers (20%), gall midge (15%), leaf folder (10%) and other pests (25%).

Author/s & Publication: Krishnaiah, K., and N. R. G. Varma. 2012. Download/Link: 

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