To effectively address the issue of pests and diseases in tea cultivation, the responsible and careful use of pesticides is crucial. Therefore, the Plant Protection Code aims to provide scientific guidelines and promote the proper utilization of pesticides in the tea industry. This comprehensive guideline, introduced by the Tea Board, ensures the safe application of Plant Protection Formulations (PPFs) in Indian tea plantations.

The implementation of the Plant Protection Code (PPC) serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it establishes sustainable plant protection practices, aligning with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles. By promoting alternative control strategies such as biological control, the PPC aims to gradually reduce reliance on chemical interventions. Responsible chemical management is a key focus of the PPC, contributing to long-term sustainability in tea cultivation.

Tea Board India, in collaboration with Tea Research Institutes and the Indian tea industry, actively addresses the issue of PPF usage to combat pests and diseases. This collaborative effort ensures compliance with the requirements of both national regulatory bodies, such as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and international bodies like Codex, EU, Japan, and the USA. The Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIB&RC), a government entity, continuously reviews pesticide usage in India for various crops and maintains up-to-date information in coordination with the pesticide industry.

To ensure the safety and quality of tea products, the PPC allows only the usage of approved PPFs that meet the standards set by the CIB&RC. The maximum residue limits (MRLs) for these approved PPFs are established by the FSSAI. The Plant Protection Code is a dynamic policy document that undergoes periodic updates, with the current version being the 15th iteration.

In adherence to the standards defined by the FSSAI, tea planters are required to regularly test their end products. The proper implementation of the Plant Protection Code enables the tea industry to effectively manage issues related to pests, diseases, and pesticide residue. This, in turn, ensures the maintenance of food safety and quality, allowing for the production of high-quality tea for both domestic consumption and export to the international market.

List of CIB&RC approved Plant Protection Formulations for use in Tea plantations along with their MRLs fixed by FSSAI [Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues), Third Amendment Regulations, 2018 (effective from 03.01.2019)]

Type of PPFSl. No.Name of PPFsMRL (ppm)
Acaricides1Cyflumetofen 20 SC0.05*
2Ethion 50 EC5.0
3Fenazaquin 10 EC3.0
4Fenpyroximate 5 EC/SC6.0**
5Hexythiazox 5.45 EC15.0
6Propargite 57 EC10.0
7Sulphur 80 WPNot required
8Sulphur 40 WPNot required
9Sulphur 52 SCNot required
10Spiromesifen 22.9 SC70.0
11Etoxazole 10 SC15.0
12Flufenzine 20 SCMRL yet to be notified
13Pyridaben 20% WPMRL yet to be notified
14Propergite 42% +Hexythiazox 2%ECPropergite= 10.0
Hexythiazox= 15.0
15Fenazaquin 10% + Bifenthrin 4% ECFenazaquin= 3.0
Bifenthrin= 30.0
Insecticides16Azadirachtin 1 EC-
17Azadirachtin 5 EC-
18Bifenthrin 8 SC30.0
19Clothianidin 50 WDG0.7
20Deltamethrin 2.8 EC5.0
21Deltamethrin 11 EC5.0
22Dimethoate 30 % EC***MRL yet to be notified
23Emamectin Benzoate 5 SG0.06**
24Emamectin Benzoate 3% + Thiamethoxam 12% WGEmamectin Benzoate= 0.06
Thiamethoxam = 20.0
25Fenpropathrin 30 EC2.0
26Flubendiamide 20 WG50.0
27Flubendiamide 19.92% w/w + Thiacloprid 19.92% w/w SCFlubendiamide = 50.0
Thiacloprid = 5.0
28Quinalphos 25 EC0.7**
29Thiacloprid 21.7 SC5.0
30Thiamethoxam 25 WG20.0
31Thiamethoxam 12.6% + L-Cyhalothrin 9.5%Thiamethoxam= 20.0
L-Cyhalothrin= 0.05*
Fungicides32Carbendazim 12% + Mancozeb 63% WPCarbendazim= 0.5
Mancozeb= 3.0
33Hexaconazole 4% + Zineb 68% WPZineb= 0.1*
34Hexaconazole 5 EC5.0**
35Propiconazole 25 EC6.0**
36Copper Oxychloride150.0 (as elemental copper)
37Tetraconazole 3.8% w/w (4% w/v)MRL yet to be notified
38Trifloxystrobin 25% + Tebuconazole 50% WGMRL yet to be notified
Herbicides39Glyphosate 41 SL1.0
40Glyphosate 71 SG1.0
41Glyphosate Ammonium Salt 5 SL1.0
42Glufosinate Amonium13.5 SL0.01
43Oxyfluorfen 23.5 EC0.2
44Paraquat Dichloride 24 WSC0.2
45Oxyfluorfen 2.5% + Isopropyl amine salt of Glyphosate 41% w/w SCOxyfluorfen=0.2
46Carfentrazone Ethyl 0.43% + Glyphosate 30.82% EWCarfentrazone Ethyl= 0.02*
Glyphosate= 1.0
47Indaziflam 1.65% w/w + Glyphosate-isopropyl ammonium 44.63% w/w SCMRL of Indaziflam is yet to be notified
48Saflufenacil 70 % WGMRL yet to be notified
49Triasulfuron 20% WGMRL yet to be notified
502,4-D amine salt 58 % WSC0.05
51Glufosinate Ammonium 13.4% + Oxyfluorfen 4.8% w/wGlufosinate Amonium=0.01
Bio-pesticide52Beauveria bassiana 5% WP (Cfu count 2X108/gm. min)

# The above list is dynamic and may change from time to time based on the CIB approved list of pesticides for use in tea and this may be seen from the website of Tea Board.

* Maximum Residue Limit fixed at Limit of Quantification (LOQ). Tolerance limit of 0.01 mg/kg shall apply in cases of pesticides for which MRL have not been fixed.

** Revised and operational vide FSSAI order No. F.No.SS-T007/1/2023-Standard-FSSAI dated 27th April, 2023.

*** Ad-hoc approval given by CIB-RC under national exigency for one year.

Copper Hydroxide, Profenophos and Bitertanol have been removed from this list following gazette notification of Ministry of Agriculture S.O. 2486 (E) dated 24th September, 2014 although MRL of Bitertanol in tea is fixed by FSSAI.

Note: This list does not contain extremely and highly hazardous chemicals classified under World Health Organization (WHO) 1a & 1b and are fully aligned with the Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.