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SON sensitises farmers to danger of adulterated pesticides

SON sensitises farmers to danger of adulterated pesticides

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Anna Okon

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria has carried out a sensitisation exercise for Nigerian farmers to the dangers of using adulterated pesticides on their farms.

The regulatory agency said this was done in acknowledgment of the fact that pesticides were vital for boosting food production in the country.

According to SON, pesticide is a major agro-chemical product that can be used to boost food production apart from fertilizer.

It therefore urged farmers to always insist on using quality pesticides while also adhering to global best practices.

The Director-General, SON, Mr Osita Aboloma, was quoted as saying these during a one-day sensitisation workshop organised for farmers and agro-chemical dealers in Kano.

The event tagged ‘The dangers of using substandard, adulterated pesticides,’ was to help reduce the incidence of rejection of Nigeria’s farm produce at the international market, a statement indicated on Wednesday.

It quoted Aboloma, who was represented by the Director of Operations at the agency, Felix Nyado, as saying, “The reason why most of our farm produce gets rejected at the global market is due to the high level of residue on it, making it unsafe for consumption.

‘‘This is why we are sensitising our farmers to the need to always produce to meet global best practices while also driving the non-oil export sector.”

According to Aboloma, the Federal Government has directed SON, other regulatory agencies and department of agriculture in the country to strengthen the regulatory approach on the manufacture, sale and distribution of unwholesome pesticides in the market.

He stated that the directive was also to get rid of the criminal network involved in the trade malpractice of adulterated pesticides and other related products.

The DG added that SON would continue to monitor the performance and sale of the products in the markets to guarantee the safety of farmers using them, consumers of the farm produce as well as to protect the environment.

He pointed out that producing more food from the increasingly depleted soil was a major concern, not only to farmers but also to large food production companies and governments in the country.

 “Current worldwide trend shows an increase in the sale of pesticide products that are substandard, contain contaminated contents or do not contain active ingredients. Therefore, investigation by SON on the agro-chemical product markets confirmed Nigeria as not immune to the above global trend,” he said.

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