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LAHORE: Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) has delegated the powers of inspection of pesticides in Punjab to the extension wing of the agriculture department Punjab.

The extension wing of the agriculture department had these powers till 2017 but after devolution, these powers were withdrawn from the extension wing staffers and delegated to the pest-warning staff.

The MNFS&R through a statutory notification (SRO) issued on January 06, 2021, issued a list of 353 people who will perform duties as inspectors within the local limits specified to each of them for the inspector of pesticide business.

Sources in the agriculture department told the Business Recorder on Tuesday that these powers in other provinces were being used by the extension wing, but after 2017 they were exercised by the pest warning wing of the department. After this fresh notification, now people nominated from both the wings will perform these duties. They said it was inevitable owing to less strength as the pest-warning department could not keep a check on 22,000-23,000 pesticide dealers working in the province.

They said that it was creating numerous issues as people come to the extension wing with the complaints, but it had no powers to resolve them. DG Agriculture (Extension) Dr Anjum Ali Buttar, who also holds the additional charge of pest warning in Punjab, while talking to this scribe said they have a huge presence across the province and their staff will perform the duty of pesticide inspection very effectively.

“This step of the MNFS&R will bring back the confidence in pesticides that growers were losing because of loose control. It will recreate trust of farmers in pesticides and proper inspection will also improve the quality of the pesticides being traded in the province,” he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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