The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called on agro-input dealers and farmers in Nigeria to make safe and responsible use of agrochemicals their priorities.
The agency is working alongside relevant stakeholders to take the campaign of safe use of agrochemicals and pesticides across Nigeria.
To promote this course, NAFDAC recntly held a sensitisation workshop in collaboration with CropLife Nigeria, for agro-input dealers in the South-West Zone of the country, on safe and responsible use of pesticides and agrochemicals
Director-General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, who was represented by Dr. Sanni Mayaki, stated in a keynote address that Crop Protection Products (CPP), plays a significant role in the agricultural value chain to prevent and reduce losses due to past infections and improve crop yield.
He said the only insecticide products to be used indoors are ready-to-use sprays, dust or baits specifically marketed for home use.
NAFDAC emphasised that the sale of counterfeit, substandard and fake products do not only pose a threat to health, environment, and profit-margins of farmers, but also to consumers and anyone handling the products.
It also stated that the neglect of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) or Good Warehouse Practices (GWP), both accidental and deliberate, drives the circulation of substandard CPP.
NAFDAC blamed this on the lack of adequate knowledge on products, precautionary measures associated with this class of products and regular training/workshops on the use to prevent human pesticide exposure and environmental contamination.
As a result of the injudicious and indiscriminate use of some pesticides, many accidents have occurred in different parts of the country, and presence of pesticides in foods, fruits, vegetables and environment, and its use as a suicide tool by youths and vulnerable persons, is of great concern to NAFDAC.
The agency, in compliance to the Federal Government policy on initiating mandatory listing of pesticides and agrochemical dealers and effective pesticide regulations in Nigeria, has decided to ease the regulatory requirements for micro agrochemical dealers as canvassed by Nigeria Agro-Input Dealers Association (NAIDA) the umbrella body of Agro-Input dealers in Nigeria.
Recently, Paraquat Dichloride, popularly used contact herbicides for the control of weeds known for its toxic and harmful effect on humans and the environment is banned in several countries of the world. In line with the development, NAFDAC has developed a phase-out action plan to ban the manufacture, importation, sale, and use of Paraquat in Nigeria.