Overuse of chemical pesticides weakens soil

APP June 24, 2024


Excessive and disproportionate use of chemical pesticides in agriculture damages the soil fertility and causes deficiency in essential nutrients, resulting in decreased crop productivity and affecting human health.

Since the farmers started using fertilizers in place of organic matter and pesticides to kill worms, insects and other harmful creatures, massive use of these chemicals has shown to have adverse effects on the land as well as health. South Punjab is one of the important regions in this respect being a food basket for the country.

Agricultural experts have warned of fast-decreasing land fertility due to excessive use of chemicals and pesticides, and lack of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and some other ingredients. Similarly, the use of organic matter is also more than one per cent. “Excessive use of pesticides is causing significant harm to soil fertility as pesticides reduce microbial diversity in the soil,” stated Dr Muhammad Mubeen, Associate Professor of Biotechnology at COMSATS University, Vehari. “The micro-organisms are of vital importance for the nutrient cycle and decomposition of organic matter and its decline could affect soil’s overall health.”

The total cultivated land in Pakistan is about 79.61 million hectares, out of which 20.63 million hectares is in Punjab. In recent decades, the dilemma of housing societies and the use of harmful ingredients have badly affected the agricultural land. “Chemical residue in the soil changes its pH value and excessive pesticides break down soil aggregates,” said Dr Alamgir Khan of Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture.


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