Imphal Times news report carried yesterday questioning the safety of cucumber fruit; base on the conversation by two friends is not an attempt to panic the people. The objective of the news report is to alert the concern government department; particularly the Food Safety Authority as rampant use of pesticides and fertilizers by farmers become a common phenomenon. Imphal Times report under the heading “Cucumbers today are not safe for human” did not mention the site of village where massive use of medicine on cucumber plant are being used as the similar activities are also being carried out by farmers all across the state. It is not only to the cucumber fruits but also to almost all the vegetable. The kind of vegetable medicine available in the market is increasing day after another and farmers do not hesitate in buying the vegetable medicine – including pesticide, chlorpyrifos, fenvelerate, dimethoate, spinosad, thiamethoxam and dithiocarbomates etc.
We are not sure about the safety of the vegetable available in the market. The day today vegetable that we are consuming for our survival may have been the reason for the various diseases that human kind are suffering. Saying so, we can’t blame the farmers. They need money and more money as they have to send their children to costly private schools as government schools are total flop. They want to live like government employees who owned multi lakhs rupees worth vehicle, built multi storey buildings in just 2 to 3 years with just some thousand rupees as salary per month. For living like them they need money and without proper production they some don’t care on using medicine of any kind , no matter whether it harms human health or not.
Sikkim is the first state in India to ban pesticide and other hazardous fertilizers. The state had announced ban on 27 non-organic. It was the state government authority initiative that ban the use of pesticide and other health hazard fertilizers or any kind of vegetable medicine. People in Dimapur also followed the Sikkim style but as Dimapur being a commercial hubs the state government seems to have trouble in imposing such ban. However, newspaper report reflected the concern for safety of vegetable selling in the Dimapur market.
Now the question is – what initiative has been seen being taken up by the food safety authority to check the vegetables, fruits and any other edible item. Well, there were some instances that the Food Safety authority conducted drive in Hotels or during food festival. But there are no report of any kind of checking to the vegetable selling in Imphal or other places of Imphal.
On the other hand the rise in the production of pesticide like vegetable medicine is a matter that is needed to be focused by the authority. Everyday new advertisement about new product to increase the food production to cultivators are notice either at print or electronic media.
Having said so, not every farmer only think about increasing their crop production. There are some who practice inorganic farming. But name shake support from the government discourage these farmers and then they too are left with no choice but to use the pesticide or fertilizers to make good production of their crop. After all they are also human being.
If nothing is taken up to ensure farmers to produce only healthy crops then the government should immediately taken up some sort of measures either by framing policy or by ensuring all facilities to the inorganic farming.
Or else, today’s youths life span may not even last for 5o years.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.