Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, has advocated for safe use of pesticides among farmers in the country.
Orhii stated this at the weekend during a sensitisation workshop organised for farmers and stakeholders by NAFDAC in collaboration with West Africa Agriculture Productivity Programme held in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, with the theme, Safe, Responsible Use and Disposal of Pesticides.
According to the NAFDAC boss, “As agriculture continues to play a major role in the economy of Nigeria and West Africa, contributing more than 40 per cent to its GDP and providing income and employment to about 70 per cent of the region’s population, there is need for stakeholders to be concerned about the health of the farmers.”
Represented by the Deputy Director, Chemical control of the Agency, Orhii said “Pesticides may cause acute and delayed health effects in workers who are exposed and can also cause a variety of adverse health effect ranging from simple irritation of the skin and the eyes.”
The DG also warned that “all applicators must be sensitive to public concerns about pesticide use and apply materials only in a safe and judicious manner as unethical disposal of pesticides to the environment is a threat to public health and the environment.”
Some of the farmers who attended the workshop agreed that it was timely and it had afforded them the opportunity to know more about the dangers and adverse effect of misuse of pesticide.