A study conducted by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) has found pesticide residues in tomatoes and bitter gourd originating from Kolar. After the discovery, experts from the research institute are asking the district to advise farmers on the dangers of the pesticide for consumers and to reduce its use.
Scientists from the IIHR, who collected samples from the fields in Kolar district, had sent the same to the pesticide residues testing lab. Their report stated that while the pesticide residue for tomatoes has to be 0.5 parts per million (ppm), the report showed 1.843 ppm; similarly, for bitter gourd, while the pesticide residue level had to be 0.5 ppm, it was recorded at 1.07.
“Based on this report we have been asked to advise farmers to reduce the usage of pesticide,” deputy director, horticulture department (Kolar district), MS Raju, told the Bangalore Mirror.
This issue caused alarm for the researchers as Kolar is one of the largest producers of tomatoes in Karnataka. According to an estimate, around 5.50 lakh tonnes of tomatoes and 2.5 lakh tonnes of bitter gourd are produced in this region every year with a large amount going to various Asian countries.