Days after an intelligence bureau report blamed some foreign-funded NGOs for stalling projects and causing India's annual economic growth to slow by 2-3%, the country's largest association of agro-chemical manufacturers has accused these NGOs of unfairly targetting the domestic generic pesticides industry.
In a representation to home minister Rajnath Singh, Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) chairman Rajju Shroff has said: "These NGOs receive huge foreign funds to organise campaigns aimed at tarnishing the image of popular generic pesticides mainly used by Indian farmers."
Seeking investigations into what it calls "the anti-national activities of these foreign-funded NGOs and certain scientists in their pay-roll", the CCFI claimed the reason behind smear campaign by them is "to show the industry and Indian agriculture in poor light."
The CCFI has listed the names of certain NGOs and their suspicious activities in the representation. In one such examples, it alleged a well-known Delhi-based NGO, dealing in environmental and scientific issues, received over Rs 67.70 crore from two religious organisations from Denmark and Germany between 2006 amd 2012. "We wonder what do these religious organisations have to do with matters connected to science and environment in India," it said. Despite various hurdles, India's pesticide exports have grown at a fast pace from $780 million in 2007-08 to $1,900 million in 2013-14, the CCFI said.
CCFI wish list
The association has also demanded that the government set up inspection centres at every port to check pesticide residues on imported agricultural commodities. Currently, the country mainly has facilities for disease detection in agro-items at ports, which can't check the residual level of pesticides in such imported consignments.
"If the chemical residue is used as a tool of protectionism by some countries against Indian farm products, our government should also look into checking such residues in the imported consignments from other countries so that a level-playing field is created."