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65 per cent pesticides in Nigerian market highly hazardous

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Mr Chris Kaka, National Programme Coordinator, Trade Network Initiative (TNI), on Tuesday, asserted that 65 per cent of pesticides, used by farmers in Nigeria were dangerous to human health, animals and the environment.

He said they contained active ingredients belonging to the group of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs), to the opening of a two-day Training and Strategic Planning Meeting on Pesticide Use and Regulation in Nigeria: Making the Advocacy Work in Abuja.

The event, which was convened by Alliance for Action on Pesticides in Nigeria (AAPN), saw the coordinator noting that 40 per cent of all the pesticide products registered in Nigeria, had since been withdrawn from the European market or heavily restricted due to this hazardous content.

This 40 per cent, he said represented 57 active ingredients in 402 products that were still in use in Nigeria.

Kaka regretted that no serious regulation was in place in Nigeria to check the arbitrary use of these products among the farmers.

This, he said, informed the formation of the alliance so as to bring stakeholders together to share knowledge and engage government on how to address the challenge.

The coalition seeks to increase awareness on pesticide hazards, demands for improved regulation of the pesticides market in Nigeria, and promoting the introduction of more sustainable farm methods and food systems.

In order to strengthen its advocacy, AAPN seeks to come together to organise a training to improve its members knowledge around pesticide use and regulation, to share experiences from their individual work, and to build synergy and explore new avenues for advocacy.

“Many farmers are not even aware of this danger and we believe there is need for awareness to be created around this,” he said.

In her presentation, Ms Silke Bollmohr, an eco-toxicologist stressed the need to always ensure less toxicant pesticides were brought to agriculture.

Bollmohr, who is a trainer in Risk Assessment of Pesticides, enumerated the effects of hazardous pesticides on human life, soil and water quality.

Nigerians, she explained, were more exposed to these hazards because communities and residents were closer to farms than in the western world.

She urged farmers to always check label information, saying that the labels contained vital information of chemical compositions of pesticides.

She also cautioned farmers against the use of same herbicides, fungicides and insecticides over a long period, advising them on use of biopesticides in between.

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Usman Aliyu

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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