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    HomeNewsStakeholders caution against harmful usage of pesticides by farmers

    Stakeholders caution against harmful usage of pesticides by farmers

    A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has joined other stakeholders in warning against the harmful usage of pesticides in farms to safeguard public health in the country.

    Director of HOMEF Mr Nnimmo Bassey, disclosed this at a dialogue in Abuja with decision makers on hazards of pesticides and the need for a holistic food policy for the country. 

    Read Also: Experts caution Nigerians on use of hazardous pesticides in food, environment

    “Many of the pesticides used by Nigerian farmers contain active ingredients linked to cancer or proven to be carcinogenic, including Glyphosate, Atrazine, Butachlor, Chlorpyrifos, Dichlorvos (DDVP), Endosulfan and Mancozeb.

    “Farmers have reported health problems like difficulty in breathing, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, eye problems, skin rashes, catarrh, acute diarrhoea, and respiratory problems that are linked with their use of pesticides.

    “In addition to the deleterious human and environmental health impacts, the dependence of inorganic pesticides in Nigeria has serious implication on our economy,” Bassey warned.

    He added that shockingly, up to 80 per cent of the pesticides used in Nigeria are classified as Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPS) and 40 per cent of those produced in the country have been banned in European countries.

    “One of the most concerning aspects of pesticide use is the impact on the environment with their ability to leach into soil and contaminate groundwater, leading to long-term damage to ecosystems.

    “Destruction of beneficial insects, disruption of pollination, and damage to soil microorganisms that are vital for maintaining healthy soils.”

    “The indiscriminate use of pesticides has led to the emergence of resistant pest populations, which further escalates the need for stronger chemicals and intensifies the cycle of destruction,” the director said.

    He said that the consequences of pesticide exposure on human health could not be overlooked in Nigeria, adding that pesticide poisoning has become a regular occurrence.

    “The export markets are closing against us because of pesticide residues above allowable standards.There is also the wrong notion of over-emphasis on food security at the expense of food sovereignty.

    “While food sovereignty demands that agricultural production suits the culture, environment and needs of the people, food security is concerned with placing any sort of food on the table.

    “The truth, however, is that food security can best be attained under the atmosphere of food sovereignty,” Bassey said.

    On his part, Hon. Terseer Ugbor Deputy Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Environment, assured commitment to policies that will enhance a healthy and more sustainable environment in the country.

    Ugbor who was represented by Mrs Omoh Oziegbe his Personal Assistant called for the collective support of key stakeholders in the environment sector to ensure that the country is rid of harmful usage of pesticides.

    Mrs Oreoluwa Adeyemi a Legal Practitioner with Alliance for Action on Pesticide in Nigeria, called for immediate action on a single regulation that is encompassing on the usage of pesticides to safeguard lives. (NAN)

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