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Survey identifies 44 highly hazardous pesticides

Story by John Nhandara

GOVERNMENT has identified 44 highly hazardous pesticides which pose a risk to farmers, crops, livestock, and the environment.

A national farmers and retailers pesticide knowledge, attitude, and practices survey report launched in Harare this Wednesday has pointed to the existence of 44 highly hazardous pesticides from a pool of 450 registered pesticides in the market.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development says the immediate task is to engage farmers in chemical safety programmes.

“There are over 450 registered pesticides in Zimbabwe, we have classified 44 as highly hazardous which we now must monitor and provide information to the public that you must handle this way so that we must protect the environment our crops, and livestock,” noted Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Services Chief Director, Professor Obert Jiri.

Farmers have also been warned of unscrupulous dealers importing counterfeit or banned substances into the country.

“As a Ministry, we do regulate the pesticides, so if anyone wants to import, they must get permission from the ministry, but there are also some people producing counterfeit pesticides and the solution is for farmers to buy pesticides from reputable suppliers,” he added.

There have been calls for the country to develop a national pesticide policy to regulate and promote sustainable crop production and reduce risks posed by hazardous pesticides.

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