Assam finance minister Himnata Biswa Sarma

Alerted by the growing number of renal diseases, Assam government has approached the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to find out if the excessive use of fertilisers as well as pesticides in vegetables and other agricultural produces is linked to the growth of such diseases.

Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said this on Tuesday while adding that the state government has already approached the ICMR to carry out a research on this so that corrective measures can be taken up.

“The research will cover the districts in lower and central Assam and the char areas where commercial cultivation of vegetables and other agricultural produces has taken place. However, we are getting information that excessive use of pesticides is linked to the emerging diseases like renal failures,” said the minister.

The minister did not give the statistics of these emerging diseases but said that the mortality rate related to renal failure is going up.

It may be mentioned that the erstwhile Congress government in Assam had in 2015 announced to set up a regulatory body to monitor chemical pesticide use in vegetables across the state. The proposed body, however, never took off.

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