“Biopesticides are sustainable unlike chemical pesticides”
A physiologist and alumnus of the Center for Management in Agriculture of the IIM Ahmedabad, Satyabroto Banerji has been in the pesticide industry since 1972. His present focus is on safe, economical, and effective crop protection. He is part of the P3 Abhiyaan, a conservation effort for India’s wealth of pollinators, predators, and parasites. He functions as the Technology Coordinator for Safety Brigade, a company solely owned by his wife, who is a biochemist of distinction and has vast experience. Banerji answers our queries on biopesticides and their use
What are biopesticides?
Biopesticides are natural substances and organisms that help us manage pests.
In what way do they differ from chemical pesticides?
Chemical pesticides are discovered by people in laboratories. Biopesticides exist in nature. They cannot be patented so western corporations hate them!
How long have they been around in India?
Cow urine and Neem have been used in India for centuries. However, biopesticides as packaged and branded products are about two decades old.
Why is there a lack of awareness about them?
Farmers and tribals know biopesticides well. Awareness is low amongst city elite as they feed on capitalist propaganda.
In what way are they beneficial to the soil and farming.
Biopesticides are sustainable. They do not cause upheavals in ecology.
Are they cost effective?
The cost-effectiveness of all pesticides needs a new form of accounting. How much does the slaughter of natural fauna cost? What is our health worth?
What is broad spectrum of biopesticides which addresses cash crops, fruit and vegetables.
Biopesticides can be classified as entomophagous micro-organisms, ento-pathogenic fungi, predators, parasites, and herbal extracts.
Where are they available?
Biopesticides are available from licensed retail outlets. Each State Agricultural Directorate or Commissionerate maintains a list of certified outlets. I personally use Namdeo Umaji, on the eastern side of Mazagaon Station in Mumbai.