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Hazardous Pesticides in farm produce

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By Mercy Kelani

270 people died due to contamination of a water source by pesticide, in 2020.

Stakeholders expressed their worry on the effects of the high application of hazardous pesticides on food manufacturing in Nigeria. According to recent reports, 80–90 percent of pesticide products are generally used on farm production and they are dangerous; while 50 percent of common pesticides brands applied by Nigerian farmers are classified as Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHP). However, the United States of America and the European Union (EU) have banned many of these active ingredients due to its negative consequences on the environment and human health.

In 2020, it was reported that 270 people died due to the contamination of a water source by the use of a pesticide on a neighbouring farm. In addition, experts stated that the increase in kidney diseases and other deadly ailments, owing to the consumption of food products, are some of the consequences of these active ingredients. Investigations depict that the average Nigerian consumers are ignorant of the quantity of pesticides present in the food they purchase and eat, nevertheless, the regular test of exported food showed that pesticide residues highly surpassed the highest limit on some farm crops.

Ban on beans export causes a yearly loss of $375 million.

There is a high effect of this development on the food export hope of the country. Agricultural products such as groundnut, palm oil, sesame seed, and beans that were imported from Nigeria were banned by the European Union due to the presence of pesticide residue in 2015. The ban on beans export causes a sum of $375 million loss for Nigeria, every year. Nnimmo Bassey, the Director of Health of the Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), emphasized the need for small scale farmers to be supported by policy shift to manufacture agricultural products that are healthy for consumers and the environment.

According to a recent report by the Alliance for Pesticides in Nigeria, he added that the largest importer of this chemical in Africa is Nigeria, with a 2020 record of 147,000 tonnes of importation. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also affirmed that about $384 million was spent on importation of the chemical. He added that destruction of soil microorganisms that are essential to healthy soils, disruption of pollination, destruction of beneficial insects, leakage of pesticide into the ground water to cause a long term destruction on the ecosystem are the consequences of pesticides in the environment.

Toxic agricultural produce end up in the Nigerian market.

Donald Ikenna Ofoegbu, the Programme Coordinator of Alliance for Pesticides in Nigeria, said that highly hazardous pesticides are used by 90 percent of small scale farmers; and out of the 13 most popular pesticides, seven have been banned worldwide due to the ability to cause cancer, but they are currently used in the country. He added that the use of this chemical is not the appropriate step to control pests infestation because there are control like milder chemicals, biological control and mechanical control which should be used before application of hazardous chemicals.

Ofoegbu said that more than 70-76 percent of food export are being rejected for many reasons, and one major reason is the presence of pesticide residue. He stated that 40 percent of sesame seed imported by Japan from Nigeria has been tested with the chemical residue which might stop future exportation of the products from Nigeria. Sadly, Nigeria experiences the sum of $376 million loss, every year, on the ban of beans exportation, but the root of the problems, which is the farm, has not been evaluated. Consequently, the toxic agricultural produce end up in the Nigerian market.

It is significant to regulate the use of pesticides in Nigeria.

Prof. Simon Irtwange, a member of the Action Alliance for Pesticides in Nigeria, said that it is significant to regulate the pesticides used in Nigeria due to the growing population in the country and the rising need for land cultivation. He stated that the use of pesticides in commercial production is to promote good production. Additionally, the introduction of new science and technology has made it imperative to take proper care of the use of chemicals in our agricultural produces.

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2 months ago

Hazardous Pesticides in farm produce — 270 people died due to contamination of a water source by pesticide, in 2020. – Express your point of view.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kenny Adetunji
2 months ago

It is truly devastating to hear about the tragic incident where 270 people lost their lives due to the contamination of a water source by pesticides in 2020. This highlights the critical importance of addressing the issue of hazardous pesticides in farm produce.
The use of pesticides in agriculture is intended to protect crops from pests and diseases, ensuring higher yields and food security. However, the improper use or overuse of pesticides can have severe consequences for human health and the environment.
To tackle this issue, it is crucial to prioritize sustainable farming practices that minimize the reliance on harmful pesticides. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, for example, promote the use of natural predators, crop rotation, and the judicious application of pesticides as a last resort. This approach not only reduces the risk of pesticide contamination but also promotes ecological balance and preserves biodiversity.
Furthermore, strengthening regulations and enforcement around pesticide use is essential. Governments should establish stringent guidelines for pesticide registration, labeling, and usage, ensuring that only approved and safe products are available on the market. Regular monitoring and testing of farm produce for pesticide residues can help identify and address potential risks to public health.
Collaboration between government agencies, farmers, researchers, and other stakeholders is vital in addressing the issue of hazardous pesticides. By working together, we can develop sustainable agricultural practices that prioritize human health, environmental protection, and food safety.
In conclusion, the incident involving the contamination of a water source by pesticides and the resulting loss of lives underscores the urgent need to address the issue of hazardous pesticides in farm produce. By adopting sustainable farming practices, strengthening regulations, promoting education, and fostering collaboration, we can mitigate the risks associated with pesticides and ensure a safer and healthier food system for all..

2 months ago

There are some pesticides that are very dangerous. This is why farmers are expected to be very careful on the type of pesticides they use in their farm. Some of the pesticides are capable of poisoning people which might not be the initial intention.

2 months ago

Pesticides are used in agriculture to protect crops from pests and diseases, as well as to boost yields and food security. But if pesticides are applied irresponsibly or excessively, the environment and human health could suffer tremendously.