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Farmers Want Highly Hazadarous Pesticides Publicized

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Dr. Evelyn Lutalo, the chairperson Association of Uganda Women Professionals in Agriculture and Environment-AUWPAE says that despite the government efforts to enact and put in place policies that can help to prevent the use of HHPs, this is still insufficient.
31 Jan 2021 08:18
A panel of Agriculture experts during a conference on High Hazadarous Pesticides

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Farmers, civil Societies and the private sector want the government to publicize all Highly Hazardous Pesticides-HHPs on the market to enable the users to identify them and make informed decisions before using them. There several chemicals listed as Highly Hazardous Pesticides due to their negative impact on both human life and the environment where they are applied.  

It is this list that the different players in the agriculture sector want the government to publicize. This stems from a study in Wakiso district on the horticulture sector farmers aimed at establishing whether the farmers are knowledgeable on HHPs and their implications.

Dr. Evelyn Lutalo, the chairperson Association of Uganda Women Professionals in Agriculture and Environment-AUWPAE says that despite the government efforts to enact and put in place policies that can help to prevent the use of HHPs, this is still insufficient.

According to Dr. Lutalo, the study in Wakiso district found that farmers at all levels, agrochemical dealers, consumers of food products and importers couldn’t differentiate HHPs from approved pesticides.  She notes that people lack information on the dangers associated with HHPs use and only concentrate on the yields.

//Cue in; ’’Much as Wakiso …   

Cue out…what am eating,’’//  

She also notes that the government needs to look into the issue of increasing awareness, funding of inspectors of agrochemical dealers and develop a simple community monitoring system that can be used by a layperson to tell the safety levels of chemicals before they purchase them.  

//Cue in’’ Government to increase …

Cue out…chemical or not ‘’// 

Mathias Kayemba, a farmer in Wakiso district says policymakers and implementers have failed in their roles, which has made it difficult for the HHPs to get off the market.

Kayemba says the government needs to concentrate on sensitizing farmers on how to check for genuine chemicals that are usually labelled (yellow and green) as opposed to the HHPs that are labelled red on top of carrying out regular inspections of agro-dealers. 

//Cue in; ’One they should…   

Cue out…that is red’’//

Adeline Muheebwa, a member of the Association of Uganda Professional Women in Agriculture and Environment, says lack alternatives because a number of pesticides on the market are hazardous.

She says that it’s the government’s mandate to create more awareness of the recommended pesticides since farmers cannot do away with pesticide use   . 

Luganda 

//Cue in;’’Ekizibu ekisinga …

Cue out…Lilikulisiti oba teririkulisti''// 

Yosia Mukasa from the Department of Crop Inspection and Certification under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal husbandry and Fisheries says it’s still difficult to eliminate the use of pesticides in the country’s setting as it advocates for commercial agriculture.

He instead advises farmers to stick to the safe use of chemicals by wearing protective gear such as gloves and aprons and follow all the guidelines from the manufactures.  Mukasa also notes that farmers should adopt integrated Pest management whereby they complement chemicals with other approaches and reduce chemical use were necessary.

He also advises the farmers to only deal with registered agrochemical dealers since they are monitored.

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