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80% of pesticides used in Nigeria are toxic

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Pesticides used by some Farmers in Nigeria are Classified as Highly Hazardous.

A recent survey revealed that about 80 percent of the Pesticides used by women in certain parts of Nigeria’s North-central region are extremely hazardous to human health and require additional Regulation. In many cases, the products were prohibited from sale in Europe and other regions of the world. According to the findings of the survey conducted by the Small-Scale Women Farmers Organization of Nigeria and the Alliance for Action on Pesticide in Nigeria, those products fall into the category of Highly Hazardous Pesticides.

Participating in the survey were a total of 107 female farmers from the states of Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau and Abuja. The Heinrich Boll Foundation, a German environmental organization, provided support for the study. More so, Atrazine, carbofuran, butachlor, cypermethrin, dichlorvos (ddvp), endosulfan, gly sulphate, mancozeb, imidacloprid, profenofos, paraquat, and triazophos were identified as the various Pesticides that were present. Women who used the products stated that they were experiencing health difficulties, and a new investigation recommends that the government regulate these chemicals.

40% of the pesticides used in Nigeria had been prohibited by the EU.

More so, in a survey that was conducted by AAPN in 2021, it was discovered that 40 percent of all of the Pesticides that were used in Nigeria had been prohibited by the EU due to their high levels of toxicity. So, the purpose of the recent survey was to determine the difficulties that are caused by pests for farmers, as well as to learn more about the solutions that farmers use to deal with the issue, as well as their familiarity with traditional methods of pest control that is based on the Natural Environment.

To control pest problems on their farms, 94.2% of the surveyed women farmers employ synthetic chemical Pesticides. 5.8% of people use no synthetic chemical Pesticides at all, according to the study. It was also discovered that 75% of the women who were using chemical Pesticides had health issues that they blamed on the usage of the Pesticides. Breathing difficulties, nausea, headaches, vomiting, eye problems, diarrhea, skin rashes, catarrh, and respiratory issues were some of the symptoms mentioned by the interviewed women.

NAFDAC should be given the power to tackle harmful products.

The Small-Scale Women Farmers Organization of Nigeria (SWOFON) encouraged the Nigerian government to create policies governing the use of Pesticides in food production in an effort to find a solution. The organization advocated for both a NAFDAC Act change and a federal pesticide control policy. They also suggested in the poll that an amendment to the NAFDAC law should allow them to immediately prohibit, suspend, revoke, and recall any licensed pesticide product with an active component shown to be extremely harmful to human beings, particularly those banned globally.

In addition to the standard labels, there is a necessity that Sections 9 and 10 of the NAFDAC Pesticide Registration Regulation of 2019 include toxicity colour codes on pesticide products. Mary Ishaya, who is the president of SWOFON, gave advice to other farmers’ organizations, telling them that they should establish methods for self-Regulation on the use and sale of Pesticides in the nation. According to her, this would guarantee that very dangerous Pesticides that have been prohibited both domestically and globally are not utilized, advertised, or sold in the country of Nigeria.

Children and newborns are more vulnerable to harmful chemicals.

In terms of vulnerability to pesticide effects, certain people are more at risk than others. Children and newborns, for instance, are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of Pesticides than adults are. Also, at a higher risk are those who work in Agriculture or apply Pesticides. When these chemicals are mixed with soil, they produce a gas that is harmful to the soil’s nematodes, fungi, bacteria, insects, and plants. Due to their gaseous nature, they are able to travel from the ground up into the air, putting everybody in their vicinity at risk.

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