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Pesticides manufacturing industry.

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.

The country's economy is dominated by agriculture, which accounts for 33 per cent of production. During the past five years the share of agriculture has declined from 30.8 per cent in 1980-81 to 26.0 per cent in 1989-90. A revival in the growth of agriculture is a basic need of the country's economy, not only because it shares about one third of GDP and provides employment for more than fifty per cent, but it is the major source of raw materials for the industrial sector and is the foundation of the country's exports. There is little doubt that the country's agricultural resources could generate a much higher level of agricultural production than that currently achieved and the new Five Year Plan has laid emphasis to increasing the output by extension of the cultivated area and intensification of the existing production through improved management and increased output use. Major importance is given to improving water supply, increased use of fertilizers and introduction of effective pest control measures on the bulk of major crops.

Ground Spray

In contrast to aerial spray ground spray area has substantially increased as given in the following table:

The main crops covered under plant protection programme were cotton, paddy and sugarcane. The major crops requiring intensive pest control in Pakistan are cotton, rice, sugarcane and maize. In addition tobacco, fruits and vegetables and oil seeds also need pesticide application.

Table : Area Covered by Ground Spray
 (000 hectares)
 % of
 Cropped Area Area Spray
Years Area Sprayed Sprayed Hectares
1980-81 19,330 763 3.9 1505
1981-82 19,280 1021 5.2 2300
1982-83 20,100 1097 5.5 2551
1983-84 19,990 940 4.4 2679
1984-85 19,790 1194 6.0 3710
1985-86 20,280 1844 9.1 6058
1986-87 20,900 1942 9.3 6297
1987-88 20,900 2393 11.4 2408

Source: Agri Statistics of Pakistan

Aerial Spray

Table - gives the details of area covered by aerial plant protection operation.

As a result of new agricultural policy (February 1980) free aerial spraying since been discontinued. It is now deployed in areas where beneficiaries are willing to pay the cost of insecticides provided such ares are free from physical obstacles and are contaguores blocks to justify aerial spraying. In 1987-88 area sprayed was 270 thousand hectares.

Table : Aerial Spray
 (000 hectares)
 % of
 Cropped Area Area Spray
Years Ara Sprayed Sprayed Hectares
1981-82 19,780 161 0.8 192
1982-83 20,100 183 0.9 273
1983-84 19,990 165 0.8 250
1984-85 19,920 190 1.0 319
1985-86 20,280 166 0.8 173
1986-87 20,900 196 1.8 294
1987-88 20,900 123 0.6 270
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Pakistan
Author:Haidari, Iqbal
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Jul 1, 1991
Previous Article:Generic scheme will have a negative impact on country's economy.
Next Article:Improper formulation of pesticides can prove hazardous.

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