Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Nation - Pradip Maitra pradip­maitra@hin­dus­tan­

Fol­low­ing the deaths of over 45 farm­ers due to pes­ti­cide poi­son­ing in Vi­darbha, the qual­ity con­trol wing of state agri­cul­ture depart­ment on Wed­nes­day seized pes­ti­cides worth ₹14.31 crore from Akola in western Vi­darbha.

The Ma­ha­rash­tra State Agri­cul­ture Mis­sion chair­man Kishore Ti­wari, how­ever, claimed that 48 farm­ers died of pes­ti­cide poi­son­ing. Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion, the qual­ity con­trol sleuths of Akola, ac­com­pa­nied by a team of agri­cul­ture com­mis­sion­er­ate, Pune, raided 12 dif­fer­ent godowns of pes­ti­cide com­pa­nies and sealed those stocked and pre­vented their sales.

At least 45 farm­ers died due to sus­pected pes­ti­cide poi­son­ing in Vi­darbha since Au­gust this year and most of the deaths were re­ported from Ya­vat­mal, a ma­jor cot­ton-grow­ing dis­trict that has of­ten been in the news for farmer sui­cides. They died af­ter spray­ing pes­ti­cides on their Bt cot­ton plan­ta­tions in the re­gion.

Milind Jan­jal, the qual­ity con­trol chief of Akola agri­cul­ture depart­ment, ad­mit­ted that they have raided at least 12 pes­ti­cide godowns in the dis­trict and sealed the stock to pre­vent fur­ther sale.

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