FG moves against misuse of agrochemicals on farm produce –

The Federal Government says it is working with the House of Representatives committee on agriculture to have a framework to ensure sanity in the agrochemicals or pesticides business in the country.

Ernest Umakhihe, the permanent secretary, federal ministry of agriculture and rural development, disclosed this at a stakeholder’s workshop on agrochemicals (plants pesticides), manufacturing, importation, marketing, distribution and handling on Tuesday in Abuja.

Umakhihe was represented by Ishaku Buba, deputy director, input use and agro farm inputs support services department of the ministry.

He said agrochemicals or plant pesticides play an important role in the different stages of plant development from land clearing, cultivation to the storage of eventual farm produce.

He, however, said that in spite of its importance, its misuse, overuse and under-use could have dire consequences on plants, humans, animals, soil, and the environment.

“Any plan to reduce or eliminate the effects of agrochemicals on diverse hosts has to be pursued vigorously. It is not far-fetched to understand that the increase in land under cultivation in the country has been attributed significantly to the use of agro-chemicals.

“In spite of the important contribution of the product, some fabrics of the society have devised means of adulterating the products, thereby causing a lot of economic loss to both the end-user farmers and the genuine entrepreneurs,” he said.

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Umakhihe said some products banned from use in other parts of the world, particularly the European Union, have found their way into the Nigerian markets.

He said due to the absence of a legal framework to curtail the influx and marketing of such banned products, little has been achieved.

“In order to address this ugly situation, the ministry working with the relevant House of Representatives committee on agriculture is tidying up a regulatory framework to ensure sanity in the agro-chemicals or pesticide business.

“Pursuant to this, the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act 2019, is being repealed to incorporate pesticides bill in order to regulate the rampant abuses in the agro-chemicals operations,” he said.

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