Nilona Declaraion 2022
Farmers Meeting on Pesticide Poisoning
“Growth of Agroecology: Barriers to legal mitigation of health risks and climate change impacts in farming”
Deendayal Prabhodini, Nilona, Yavatmal,
This farmers and farm labour meeting on 17thSeptember, 2022, at Nilona (Yavatmal), Maharasthtra, had deliberations on pesticide poisoning – impact on us, ecology and future. We received lot of information and increased our awareness. Based on these presentations, deliberations, and generated knowledge, we commit ourselves to the following:
- We are seriously acutely concerned about cotton seeds, cotton farming and usage of pesticides to contain pests and fungus. With heavy rains and humid conditions caused by climate crisis, higher usage of highly hazardous pesticides is impacting farmers and farm labour. Pesticide poisoning cases are indicating deep and widespread threat of toxicity to water, soil, food and our own bodies due to pesticide spraying.
- Quality of cotton seeds has become major concern, with increasing pest attacks and decline in yields.
- We have lost our fellow farmers and farm workers to toxic pesticides. Many of us are carrying the residues in our body. Our women and children are also suffering due to the toxicity and the economic burden imposed by these pesticides. Our food is contaminated and our crop harvests are longer beneficial for nourishment. The air around us is polluted.
- Several species are lost and loss of biodiversity is now a continuous phenomena. Common birds cannot be seen.
- We strongly feel that people, civil society, Indian government and international institutions focus on preventing contamination of natural resources, extinction of biodiversity, caused by pesticides and agrochemical usage.
- We realize that modern agriculture, in the past, now and in future, has the potential to destroy our lives and nature. We need to review all agricultural policies.
- We call upon national government and also State governments of Maharashtra to prepare an action plan for phasing out all toxic agrochemicals especially the highly hazardous pesticides.
- We appeal to the democratic institutions of India, including government, judiciary and media, to respond to the humanitarian crisis arising out of pesticide poisoning in rural areas of Maharashtra. Families are losing their livelihoods, independence to pursue their livelihoods and are being pushed under debt and disease burdens.
- Government of India and Maharastra have declared their intent to promote natural farming. We support the governments on this programme. Further, we need appropriate laws and policies that respond to the economic and health impacts cause of toxic pesticide poisoning.
- We request the government to announce a financial relief programme for pesticide poisoned persons. We also request government to take active initiatives on fixing product liability and accountability of toxicity on agrochemical/ pesticide companies. We want the government to pay atleast Rs.25 lakhs per family in case of a death due to pesticide poisoning.
- Rural families in India who as it is have a huge financial burden have additional problem when the breadwinner of family is sick and cannot earn due to pesticide exposure. Further in the event of loss of life the families are in deep crisis. These affected farmers and farm workers need support and social safety net to recover and provide opportunities to the children of the families to pursue their dreams.
- We also realize that women and children are forced to bear the brunt. We call up on all concerned to ensure social security measures so that this pesticide burden should not push them into poverty and backwardness. Recovery of these men, women and children is essential in building sustainable India.
- We appeal to central government and all policymakers to create a National Toxic Fund (NTF) to facilitate relief to pesticide poisoned families and protection of ecology.
- All victims of pesticide poisoning (including farmers, farm workers and rural families) pledge ourselves to increase awareness, education, economic relief and action against toxic agrochemicals, through united efforts.
We resolve to work together at community level and together with District, State and Central governments to end pesticide poisoning of people and soil.
Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisoned Persons (MAPPP)
Pesticide Action Network India (PAN-India)
Shetkari Nyayhakk Andolan Samithi (SNAS)