Farmers educated on safe use of Paracot
High incidence of farmer deaths due to unsafe,
irresponsible use of pesticide:
The Health Ministry which has observed a high incidence of farmer
deaths due to unsafe and irresponsible use of the pesticide Paracot has
drawn up a programme to educate farmers in agricultural regions about
the safe use of the chemical, a ministry release said yesterday.
This follows a directive issued by Health Minister Maithripala
Sirisena and ministry Additional Secretary Dr Palitha Maheepala.
It has been observed that a large number of farmers in areas such as
Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Vavuniya
extensively use Paracot as an insecticide in their fields.
A large number of farmer fall ill by inhaling the chemical spray as
they don't use masks, gloves and other protective gear while spraying
it. About 90 percent of those subjected to intense inhalation of the
spray, later die in hospital despite efforts by doctors to save their
lives. Dr Maheepala said this problem figured prominently during a
discussion at the Galgamuwa Hospital regarding development activities
A special strategy is observed in the Nuwara Eliya district at
present as regard the sale of Paracot to farmers in the area.
A person purchasing Paracot has to establish his identity to the shop
owner and prove that he or she is engaged in farming as a vocation.
This has helped to minimise the sale of Paracot unless in times of
extreme need. Another cause of the death was the unsafe storage of the
balance pesticide in homes after use within easy reach of those bent on
ending their lives for the slightest family dispute.
It is to arrest this trend that the ministry launched an awareness
campaign in the safe use of the pesticide in the agricultural areas, the