SON Canvas Use Of Quality Pesticides Farms: 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.
Osita Aboloma, director general, SON, said at a one-day sensitisation workshop organised for farmers and agro-chemical dealers in Kano that good pesticides enhance acceptability of Nigerian export products in the global market.
Tagged, ‘The Dangers of using Sub-standard, Adulterated Pesticides’, Aboloma said the move was targeted at eradicating rejections of Nigeria’s farm produce at the international market.
“The reason why most of our farm produce is rejected at the global market scene is due to the high level of residue on our farm products, making them unsafe for consumption,’’Aboloma said.
‘‘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,’’ he said.
According to him, the Federal Government had directed SON, other regulatory agencies and Department 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 meant 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 Felix Nyado, director of operations in the agency, added that SON would continue to monitor the performance and sale of the products in the market 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.
“Current worldwide trend shows an increase in the sale of pesticide products that are sub-standard (contain contaminated contents or do not contain active ingredients). “Therefore, investigation by the SON on the agro-chemical product markets confirmed that Nigeria is not immune from the above global trend,” he said.
Aboloma stated that substandard, falsified, adulterated, illicit or counterfeit, untrusted and unregulated pesticides were found all over the place and innocent farmers were being wooed to buy them because they were cheap. “The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is investing in agriculture to make the country self-sufficient in food production as well as export the surplus to improve the economy,” he said.
Also, Yunusa Mohammed, Kano and Jigawa states coordinator of SON, said the programme would further strengthen collaboration with stakeholders in unleashing an extensive campaign against the sale and use of substandard, adulterated and spurious pesticides in circulation.
In another development, the standards body recently joined the league of global quality management auditors, a development that would make the agency one of the global professional bodies advancing the practice of quality management in all sectors of the economy.
The certification was given to SON Training Centre recently by Chartered Quality Institute (CQI), a chartered body for quality professionals improving the performance of organisations by developing their capability in quality management.
Receiving the award, the DG explained that the feat would give the agency the opportunity to offer a portfolio of courses designed to suit employers’ needs, audit quality-related knowledge, and skills which were increasing demand across many industries in Nigeria today.