I 20 Business/Agric
Thursday, May 26, 201 1
Agrochemicalsand food • • pOisoning Bylina A. Hassan AGROCHEMICALS have a lot of benefits in improving the quality and quantity of agricultural produce, it is one of the wonderful t~chnologica! breakthroughs in the field ofagriculture and itis intended to benefit the faimer and ensure increased farm yields. Tllis breakthrough, wonderful as it may be, needs to be used or appUed in the farm with caution in order to get the best result and avoid the danger inherent such as food poisoning which occurs with wrong application and such other abuses. Agrochemica!s such as, fertilizers, herbicides and other such chemicals used in plant and anima! production can result to food poisoning if applied wrongly, thereby posing serious hea!th risk, and in extreme cases lead to death once such food is consumed. Some of the benefits of agrochemicals range from inlproved quality of produce, improved anima! and crop yields anlong others. President of the North Central Agro Input Dealers Association (NOCCAIDA), Alliaji Raufu Adekunle Lawa! saidagrochenlica!s generally referred to as Crop Protection Products (CPPs) are used to prevent and fight crop and anima! pests and diseases that can be harmful to human if consumed. He said apart from the protection ofcrops from pest and diseases, agrochemicals improves crop yield '. and prevent the transfer ofsome diseases from plants to humans. Apart from these, the quality and price value of the lield is greatly improved
and tllis would enable farmers to sell their products at competitive prices. "Farmers need to be educated on how to' apply agrochenliaiIs to avoid cases of overdose or under dose which may prove fata! in the end or lead to disease resistance in crops and wrongful application can cause food poisoning which can be deaelly:' he warned. He stressed the need to educate farmers and other users of agrochenlicals and availability of credible outlets where they can purchase standard pesticides because some that are used to preserve food must be allowed to breakdown completely before the food can be consumed. Mr. Sola Bayowa also ofNOCCAIDA explained that despite its many advantages, pesticides when wrongly applied can lead to food poisoning in some cases which is why there is need for farmers to understand that although tI,ere are a lot of advantages associated with pesticides usage, it must not be abused because of the dangers inherent He however maintained that the benefits of agrochemicals in agri: culture far outweigh the disadvantages because they are formulated to help boost production, improve the quality of production as well as ensure food availabUity. According to him, when safety precautions are not properly observed when these chemical compounds are used, it could lead to food poisoning Or other forms of poisoning due to exposure especiallywhen protective gears are not used to protect the farmers from the
effects of such chenlicals. '~We know that agrochemicals are very beneficial to agricultural production in general but as chemical compounds, tI,ere are safety precautions to follow to avoid being poisoned," he advised. High incidence of illiteracy and poverty among farmers are largely responsible for most cases
US to invest in agric sector
By Usman A. Bello THE Federal Government has urged American investo,s to take advantage of the investment oppor. tunities that abound in the country to invest in the agriculture and agro-allied sector of the economy. According to a statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Bolagi Kazeem and Director of Trade in the ministry Mr. David Adejuwo n, made th e call during a meeting between the ministry's Department of Trade and the officials of the United States of America's Embassy led by the Regional Agricultural Counsellor, Mr.
Russ Nicely at the ministry's headquarters in Abuja Mr Adejuwon stated that Nigeria has comparative advantage in the agricultural sector and reiterated the need for processing of agric p roducts for value addition for both local consumption and export to the international market He said that the ministry has been facilitating trade in all sectors of the economy between the United States of America and other countries adding that the ministry was addreSSing the issues that we re of great concern to Nigeria's partners to ensure that international standards in the trade and commerce sector are sustained.
EU, FAO commend Nigeria on rinderpest eradication By Tina ~ . Hassan THE European Union (EU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization have comme nded Nigeria for her effort in eradicating rind erpest across her borders. Deputy Head ofEU delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Ka zimierz Romanski said the introduction and es tablishment of the
epidemio'-surveillance network Representative of the FAO, in Nigeria in line with the PanDr. Rabe Mani said the wideAfrican programme for the spread vaccination campaigns Control of Epizootics (PACE) of cattle, buffalo and the deterhas remained the backbone of mination of post vaccination animal disease· control in the immunity through the Global country. " Rinderpest Eradication ProHe said the union has spent gramme of FAO has led to the N15.5 billion from 1999-2007 as containment of the disease in support for the PACE programme many countries, Nigeria incluto fight the rinderpest virus. sive.
of improper and wrong use of agrochemica!s especially whe n farm ers are unable to identify the proper chemical to use in the preservation of food after harvest or during harvest, or to better farm output or yield , Mr. Bayowa said. Meanwhile some chemicals like parathion, phosphamidon, monocroptophos, m ethami -
dophos, chlorobenzilate, toxaphene. endrin. merix endosulphan, delta H CH and ethylene oxide have been banned by the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) because they were discovered to be responsible for food poisoning leading to a number of deaths.
Researchers harp on 'research to farm links' By Tina A. Hassan RESEARCHERS meeting in Abuja for a policy dialogue on promoting sustainable agriculture have pointed out the need for strong and effective linkages between researchers and farmers in the.field. Executive Director of the African Institute for Applied Economics (AlAE), Professor Eric Eboh said there must be effective communication between researchers and farmers in order
to transfer knowledge and correct nUstakes of the past toward setting the agriculture sector right. He observed th at research agr iculture must be made to work and benefit the end users who are the farmers in th e field in a manner that it can be usable and accessible to agricultural development which is why researchers are gathered to bridge the gap through the formation of the Nigerian Agricultural Policy Research Network (NAPRINet).
EU commits N6.Sbn to Nigerian fisheries law By Tina A. Hassan THE European Union has committed the sum ofN6, 540 billion for the review and updating of N igerian Sea Fisheries Act of 1992 for judiCious and sustainable use of the seas. Director of Fisheries, Federal Department of Fisheries in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Frederick Folajimi Adeyemi said the 'high level of insecurity or piracy and other illegal fishing activities on the seas necessitated the review and update of the act and protect fishing activities.