A day’s workshop to establish linkages along the agricultural value chain to foster knowledge-sharing and information dissemination on the appropriate handling and use of pesticides, has ended at Fumesua in the Ejisu Municipality.
The programme, organised under the auspices of the Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, is part of measures to reduce to about fifty per cent, the abuse of pesticides with its attendant consequences on farmers and other users.
It brought together representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), farmers, agro-chemical sellers, agricultural scientists and researchers, as well as the media.
Issues discussed included; policy perspectives and regulations on pesticide handling and application, sale on the market, abuse by farmers and other users, storage and disposal after use.
Professor Joe Manu-Aduening, Deputy Director of the CRI, noted that the irrational use of pesticides had a direct impact on the health of the farmer and environment in general and decried instances where some of the farmers went to the extent of tasting pesticides with the view to checking its potency due to ignorance.
“We as technocrats and policy-makers need to address some of these dangerous practices, using various platforms to educate farmers and other users on the consequences of their actions”, he noted.
Prof. Manu-Aduening said the workshop formed part of the Korea-Africa Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KAFACI), a two-year programme seeking to augment good agricultural practices in Ghana.
He affirmed the Institute’s resolve to continue to provide the requisite training to farmers to help them adopt acceptable practices to ensure increased yield.
Mr Joseph Edmund, Deputy Director in-charge of Pesticides, EPA, said lack of adequate information on pesticides use was responsible for its abuse amongst users.
Mr. Stephen Arthur, a Senior Technologist of the CRI and a Coordinator of the Young Scientists Pilot Research Project of the KAFACI, said they were focused on sensitising about 300 small-holder farmers as trainers of trainees.
The objective, he said, was to assist them in educating their colleagues on the appropriate handling of pesticides, thereby ensuring their safety in the application of such agro-chemicals.