17.06.2004 Regional News

Enforce law on pesticide control and management

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Sabronum (Ash), June 17, GNA- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been called upon to enforce the law on pesticide control and management to regulate the importation, distribution, sale and use of pesticides.

Mr Frank Amponsah, the Ashanti Regional Plant Protection Officer of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), who made the call, said enforcement of the law would allay the fears of innocent consumers. He was addressing a forum for farmers at Sabronum in the Ahafo-Ano South district on Tuesday.

The forum was aimed at sensitising the farmers on the dangers associated with the use of pesticides, pest and diseases and their control and the need to adopt safety precautions.

Speaking on the topic: "Safe Use and Handling of Pesticides", Mr Amponsah noted that the ignorance of farmers on the use of pesticides as well as the attitude of both farmers and pesticide dealers had contributed to abuse of chemicals in the country.

He said most of the large quantities of pesticides used by farmers on vegetables were not recommended and this had led to environmental hazards like air and water pollution and high pesticide residue levels in foodstuffs.

Mr Amponsah said about 30 percent of crop losses was due to pests and disease attacks and said the country could only feed her ever increasing population and export the surplus if the control of crop pests and diseases was taken seriously.

Mr Maxwell Adu Poku, the Deputy District Director of MOFA, urged the farmers to adopt and practise what they had learnt to enable them to get maximum yields.

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