Pesticides, insecticides on mango crop taking birds lives
By Manoj Bhadra
Lucknow(UNI). The environmentalists and the scientists
are appalled over the death of small birds, including crows and
bulbuls, due to excessive use of 'banned' pesticides and
insecticides by the growers in the mango belts and other
fruit orchids of Uttar Pradesh.
The danger of even more serious repurcussions due to use of
pesticides and insecticides looms large in the Mango belts of UP
which produce some of the best varieties of the fruit famous not only
in India but abroad also.
Excessive use of the pesticides and insecticides particularly the
banned ones have caused deaths of birds in these regions and the
environmentalists and scientists have called for immediate remedial
measures to save the lives of the birds.
The experts, however, indicate the climate change and global
warming could be the other two reasons for extermination of birds
but indiscreet use of pesticides and insecticides could definitely
be the cause. ''With mango season on the anvil, the trend would
even be intensified and some way out has to be evolved to save the
lives of the birds,''experts feel.
Padamshree awardee renowned Mango grower of the state Kalimullah
confirmed that he had himself seen several birds dying after
consuming pesticides sprayed on the trees.
'' Earlier we used to witness sweet lyrics of the birds in the
spring season but now it is missing largely due to absence of enough
birds left,'' he told UNI. Adding that now in Mahilabad mango grove
crows were also rarely seen.
Kalimullah, who achieved distinction of growing different variety
of Mangoes on one tree in Mahilabad,the famous mango belt in Lucknow
district about 25 kms from the state capital headquarters, said
the change of climate had forced the growers to maximise the use of
pesticides to prevent the mango fruit to get damaged by the insects.
Admitting that the pesticides used nowdays were very powerful,
another mango grower said he had witnessed several times of birds
dying after consuming the dead insects in the impact of the
pesticides.Eminent environmentalists and ornithologist Dr Asad Rahmani also
expressed his concern on the downfall of the population of small
birds in the fruit belts of the state.
'' Though there was no clear cut-evidence of the real reason
behind the birds deaths but still the population of the bird were
fast declining'', he said.
Dr Rahmani, who is also the director of non-government
organisation Bombay Natural History Society, said there were
information about death of birds in Rampur, Saharanpur, and other
parts of Eastern UP.
Meanwhile, a study report by Centre for Science and
Envoronment(CSE) fellowship awardee Sudhir Mishra said the birds
inclduing crow, bulbul and others were being wiped out fast in the
mango belt of Malihabad in Lucknow known for its international fame
He called upon a concerted effort by Horticulture, Agriculture
and other related departments to stop the trend. New mango varieties
which can withstand the vagaries of the climate were required to be
developed by the scientists and mango growers of the state, he added.
Mr Mishra was of the view that the change in temperature was not
that substantial over the last many decades but the erratic changes
in the climate effected the mango crop which in turn necessiated the
use of deadly pesticides and insecticides.
Terming that change in the climate condition resulted in more use
of the pesticides leading to the death of the birds, the study said
use of banned synthetic pesticides by the farmers as they were
cheaper was aggravated this aspect of environmental hazard.
Earlier two decades back the mango growers of Malihabad used to
spray pesticides once during the season but the now the situation
had demanded spraying at least six times more, specially since the
last season mango crop was not too good.
A senior scientist of the Central Institute for Sub-tropical
Horticulture also said the farmers should not use the banned
pesticides and insecticides. He also admitted that use of powerful
pesticides was having a negative impact on the birds population in
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