A Study of Biopesticides and Biofertilisers in Haryana, India

Tom Miles

A Study of Biopesticides and Biofertilisers in Haryana, India
Ghayur Alam 2000

The use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers in Indian agriculture has seen a sharp
increase in recent years. In some areas, such as Haryana, Punjab and west Uttar
Pradesh, it has reached alarming levels. The heavy use of these chemicals has already
caused grave damage to health, ecosystems and ground water. It is therefore increasingly
urgent that environmentally friendly methods of improving soil fertility and pests and
disease control are used.

The potential of biopesticides and biofertilisers for promoting sustainable agriculture
has been known for many years. A number of government agencies, including the
Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Biotechnology, are engaged in supporting
research, production and application of these agents. However, in spite of these
efforts, their use in India is small. This paper investigates the potential of and constraints
in the use of biopesticides and biofertilisers, and explores the factors responsible for
the limited use of these agents. It is based on a study in the state of Haryana, a state
which represents the problem of excessive use of pesticides and fertilisers, common in
many parts of India. The paper also suggests policy measures for the promotion of
biopesticides and biofertilisers in the state. The study is based on detailed discussions
with a large number of farmers, various agencies engaged in the promotion of biopesticides
and biofertilisers, State Agricultural Department officials, and shopkeepers. The
study was carried out in 1999 as part of a research project on agricultural problems,
undertaken by the Agricultural Economics Research Centre, University of Delhi.