FG Moves to Sanitise Nigeria’s Agro-Chemical, Pesticides Industry

Gilbert Ekugbe

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has announced plans to set up a regulatory framework that is aimed at sanitising the nation’s agro-chemical and pesticide industry.

The move, according to the FMARD, would checkmate the activities of unscrupulous individuals that cause grievous economic loss for the country through the adulteration of pesticides and agro-chemicals thereby.

The Permanent Secretary of FMARD, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, stated that the Ministry has been working with relevant House Committees on Agriculture, to tidy up a regulatory framework that would sanitise the agro-chemical or pesticides business.  

Umakhihe, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Farm Inputs Support Services Department, (FISS), Mr. Ishaku Buba, made the declaration at the stakeholder’s workshop on agrochemicals handling, marketing and distribution in Nigeria, with the theme “Agrochemicals importation, Production, Marketing and Distribution in Nigeria to safeguard humanity and the Environment.”

The workshop was held at Debbie’s Upper Class Event and Recreation Centre, Orozo, Abuja, recently.

He said: “Some products banned from use in other parts of the world, particularly in the European Union countries, have found their way into the Nigeria markets and due to the absence of legal framework to curtail the influx and marketing of such banned products, little has been achieved.

“In pursuant to this, the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act, 2019, was being repealed to incorporate pesticides bill to regulate the rampant abuses in the agro chemicals operations.”   

He said that agro-chemicals are inputs that played important role in the different stages of plant development, right from land clearing, cultivation to the storage of eventual farm produce, adding that the workshop was not only important to the ministry as the regulator of the products but to all relevant stakeholders operating along the Agro-chemicals value chain.

In his remarks the Director, Farm Inputs Support Services Department, FMARD, Mr. Muhammad Kwaido, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Organic fertilizer Development Promotion, Igeh Oluyemisi, stated that agro-chemicals are commonly used to eliminate a variety of agricultural pests and insects that damage crops, livestock and others, adding that agrochemicals value chain players like the importers, manufacturers, marketers and dealers would require basic knowledge in handling pesticides from production to the last farmers that use the products.

In his good will message, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Mr. Adbullahi Abubakar, who was represented by Assistant Chief Agricultural Officer, Adanlawo Julius, said that agro-chemicals has come to stay but could be injurious to human health if it is not well controlled. 

A member of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. James Abubakar, commended the ministry for its efforts to ensure sanity in the agro-chemical industry.

Abubakar stated the importance of quality fertilizers in the agricultural sector, adding that sub-standard fertilizers could lead to low output and threaten the country’s food and nutrition security.  

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