The Director General, Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Osita Anthony Aboloma has raised an alarm over the influx of adulterated and substandard pesticides in the agro-chemical stores across the country, saying most of the pesticides in the market are counterproductive to the country’s drive to revitalizing agricultural sector of the economy.
He stated this in Kano during the public sensitization workshop organized by SON to educate farmers and agro-chemical dealers on the dangers associated to using substandard and adulterated pesticides.
He said most of the pesticides in the markets are either counterfeited or adulterated, hence, instead of aiding a boost in agriculture, they are rather impacting negatively to the sector due to their degrading effect on the soil and the entire ecosystem.
The DG who was represented by the Director in charge of operations, Felix Nyaddo said “current investigation by the standard organization of Nigeria of the agro-chemical products in the market confirmed that most of the pesticide products are substandard, containing contaminated contents or do not contain any active ingredients, some have false country of origin or are re-labelled expired products.
“Like you are aware pesticides are useful to boosting food production, but equally, they have their own side effects, and if a pesticide that is approved by NAFDAC for use in the country have their own side effects, then you can imagine what the side effect could be for the substandard ones” he noted.
He said the federal government has directed the SON and other regulatory agencies in the country to strengthen the regulatory approach on the manufacture, sales and distribution of unwholesome pesticides in the market with a view to get rid of criminal gangsters involved in the illegal trade.
He urged the farmers and the agro-chemical dealers to be conscious of the agro-chemical they buy or sell to the public saying most of them are harmful to human health as well as the ecosystem.
Similarly, the State Coordinator, in charge of Kano and Jigawa states, Alhaji Mohammed Yunusa blamed the declining agricultural productivity and the export rejection of Nigerian agricultural produce to careless handling of substandard pesticides in the food value chain.
The chairman All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kano state chapter, Farouq Rabi’u Mudi expressed satisfaction with the sensitization workshop, saying for long, farmers in the northwest region have been losing in their annual outputs due to wrongful use substandard chemicals on their farmlands.