The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has carried out a sensitisation exercise for Nigerian farmers, on the dangers of using adulterated pesticides on their farms.
The agency described pesticide as a major agro-chemical product that can be used to boost food production apart from fertilizer, thereby calling on farmers to always insist on using quality pesticides while also adhering to global best practices.
The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma, stated this at a one-day sensitisation workshop organised for farmers and agro-chemical dealers in Kano.
At the event tagged, â€˜The Dangers of using Sub-standard, Adulterated Pesticides,â€™ he noted that the move by the agency was to help eradicate the level of neglect of Nigeriaâ€™s farm produce at the international market.
â€˜â€˜The reason why most of our farm produce are rejected at the global market scene is due to the high level of residue on our farm products making them unsafe for consumptionâ€™â€™.
â€˜â€˜This is why we are sensitising our farmers on the need to always produce to meet global best practices while also driving the non-oil export sector,â€™â€™ he said.
According to him, the federal government had directed SON, other regulatory agencies and departments of agriculture in the country to strengthen the regulatory approach on the manufacture, sales 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 who was represented by the Director of Operations in the agency, Felix Nyado, 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.
â€œCurrent worldwide trend shows an increase in the sale of pesticide products that are sub-standard contain contaminated contents or do not contain active ingredients). â€œTherefore, investigation by the SON on the agro-chemical product markets, confirmed Nigeria is not immune from the above global trend,â€ he said.
Aboloma said sub-standard, falsified, adulterated, illicit or counterfeit, untrusted and unregulated pesticides were found all over the place and innocent farmers are being wooed to buy them because they are cheap.
Also, the Kano and Jigawa States Coordinator of SON, Alhaji Yunusa Mohammed, said the programme would further strengthen collaboration with stakeholders in unleashing an extensive campaign against the sale and use of sub-standard, adulterated and spurious pesticides in circulation.