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PATENTS FOR BOTANICAL PESTICIDES AS A MEANS OF EMPOWERMENT
Suji DS. and Prathibha, R.
Agriculture beyond green revolution involved various kinds of farm inputs such as high-yielding, nitrogen responsive crop varieties, chemical fertilizers to promote plant productivity and pesticides to control the pests and diseases. This had led to substantial increase in yield. Since then agrochemicals have been in close contact with the farmers. This made the farmers to use the pesticides indiscriminately as and when the pest became a problem in crops and practicing of these chemicals continued even when the pests were not noticed.
Ever since, the drawbacks of synthetic insecticides were realized, efforts all over the world were underway for the chemicals which are cheap, easily biodegradable, safer to human beings, non-polluting which will not leave any harmful residues on plants and plant products with greater selectivity. Botanical pesticides would play an important role as an alternative and provide an ideal source of low cost, safe and effective insecticides (Solanki and Shanker, 2001).
The pristine agriculture possessed umpteen pest control technologies involving plants and plant products. This is richly evident from the historical records that the plants were nurtured in and around the site of the farmers’ lands and homes. Many forms of extracts and dusts of plant products were developed and utilized over generation. Such traditional knowledge of pest control have survived until now. In an analysis it was found that these technologies have relevance to the present modern agricultural pest problems and subsequently packages of ‘Traditional pest Management’ for certain pests in rice and vegetables like brinjal bhendi, chillies and tomato have been developed
It is true that the traditional knowledge has triggered the scientists world over to go in for plant-based biopestitices for pest control strategies. The plant which is in immediate onslaught is that of neem the situation still moves forward to other plants which are grown and nurtured in India for pest control activities. However it is felt that fears may be shed down over the issue of patents of neem.