The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, has advocated safe use of pesticide among farmers. Orhii disclosed this at a national sensitisation workshop organised for farmers and other stakeholders by NAFDAC in conjunction with West Africa Agriculture Productivity Programme held in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, with the theme Safe and Responsible Use and Disposal o fPesticide.
According to him, “as agriculture continues to play a major role in the economy of Nigeria and West Africa, contributing more than 40 percent 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”. Orhii further revealed that “pesticides may cause acute and delayed health effects in workers who are exposed and can cause a variety of adverse health effect ranging from simple irritation of the skin and the eyes”.
He said pesticides could also cause severe effects in the body such as affecting the nervous system, mimicry hormones causing reproductive problems and could also cause cancer. “All applicators must therefore be sensitive to public concerns about pesticide use and apply materials only in a safe and judicious manner as unethical disposal of these pesticides to the environment is a potential threat to public health and environment”.
Some of the farmers, who attended the workshop, said it was timely and that it afforded them the opportunity to know more about the dangers and adverse effect of misuse of pesticide.