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Agriculture pesticides technical advisory committee meeting held

Agriculture pesticides technical advisory committee meeting held

Islamabad : The agriculture pesticides technical advisory committee (APTAC) meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Dr. Hashim Populzai, Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research.

Director generals of all the provinces, representatives from m/o Commerce, PARC and Dealers Association, were also present. Pakistan Pesticide Association was represented by Saad Akbar. Dr. Muhammad Afzal, represented the CropLife Pakistan Association.

Chairman advised DG Department of Plant Protection to have a consultative meeting with the stakeholders to make a proposal on the number of Agriculture Graduates required for the distributors, with the purpose to provide technical services to the farmers and present the same in the next Meeting of Agriculture Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee (APTAC).

It was also decided that the Pesticides Dealers should be the Agriculture Graduates. CropLife proposed that distribution companies should be regulated to provide technical services to the farmers and to enable that all such companies should have at least 40 agri graduates. Pakistan Crop Protection Association opposed the proposal.

During the meeting issues regarding imports, marketing of an unregistered and adulterated pesticides were was also discussed. Four PCPA companies imported pesticides which were neither registered in the country of origin (China) nor in Pakistan. However, the 53rd APTAC Sub-Committee took a lenient view and recommended that one-year relaxation may be given to such unregistered pesticides. There was a long discussion on the subject.

Finally, the Chair decided that import of an unregistered pesticide falls under the preview of the Law/Act (APO) – Form-17, henceforth, APTAC is not authorised to relax any condition and therefore the consignments should not be custom cleared, held in stock, or processed for sale.

Another similar case related to a product, which was registered after approval of APTAC in April 2018. However, this product was being brought and marketed into the country, since February 2016. During this period approximately 368,000 liters of unregistered product was marketed. The relevant company got the registration of its active ingredient by a different name under Form-17 in February 2016 meant for brands registered abroad.

The fact is that the product was registered on Crucifer Worms and aphid for use @1000 to 1500 ml per acre. However it was marketed by a different brand on an unregistered crop and pest i.e., cotton whitefly and at a much lower rate of 300 to 500 ml per acre. The Chair and the Secretary m/o National Food Security Research, Dr. Hashim Populzai asked DG Plant Protection to properly investigate into the case and report to him.

The Chair of the APTAC opened discussion on the amendments in the much controversial SRO 1017.

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