A Non-Governmental Organization, Chen Education and Development Empowerment (CEDE) has called for legislation to control the production of extremely harmful pesticides in Nigeria.
Executive Director of the Organization, Cynthia Anaele, made the disclosure recently in Abuja during a two-day workshop for media practitioners which was organized by CEDE in partnership with the Heinrich Boll Stifung Foundation, Nigeria.
She decried the production of extremely harmful pesticides which studies recently found to be harmful to productivity of soil as well as the human body.
“Before now, the chemical percentage of pesticides used on crops usually fluctuates around 1-4 per cent but now it has skyrocketed to 40 per cent which is toxic and dangerous.
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“As such, the essence of the gathering is to sensitize Nigerians through the media on the need to adopt organic ways of growing crops and also call for legislation by the National Assembly to regulate the production of very harmful pesticides,” she said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director Heinrich Boll Stifung Foundation, Nigeria, Jochen Luckscheiter, noted that the workshop was geared towards highlighting alternatives of growing healthy crops asides the trend among farmers of using harmful pesticides and herbicides.
He added that the idea is not to discourage the use completely but to reduce its usage while adopting organic ways of growing crops.
“Many farmers believe that pesticides improve productivity of crops in the short term, but the damage in the long term is unquantifiable as it destroys the potency of soil and the crops could end up being cancerous to the body. To paint a picture, half of registered pesticides in Nigeria have been banned in Europe which is to show you how serious the situation is, and we are already working with NAFDAC as the key regulatory body to review registration process of many pesticide companies,” he added.
Luckscheiter further called on the ministry of agriculture and rural development to partner relevant agencies in sensitizing farmers, especially in the rural areas, on natural ways of growing crops.