Breaking: Pesticide Misuse Threatens Nigeria’s Agricultural Exports: Prof. Lami Nnamonu

Breaking: Pesticide Misuse Threatens Nigeria’s Agricultural Exports: Prof. Lami Nnamonu

Prof. Lami Nnamonu, from the Agro-Chemistry Department at the Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi, has shed light on the issues causing the rejection of Nigerian agricultural products by international markets. Speaking at a workshop in Port Harcourt, organized by the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) and the National Assembly, she highlighted the misuse of chemicals as a critical concern that needs immediate addressing.

Improper Chemical Usage Plague Nigerian Agriculture

According to Nnamonu, the improper use of pesticides and preservatives, often due to a lack of education and regulation, has resulted in residue levels exceeding the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) set by the World Health Organization (WHO). This has led to instances where Nigerian produce, such as yams from Benue State, has been returned from international markets for failing to meet safety standards.

Government Inaction and Its Consequences

She criticized the government for its lack of action and emphasized the importance of implementing and monitoring environmental and pollution laws to ensure compliance and protect public health. The lack of implementation and monitoring of chemical use laws by regulatory agencies and the government has resulted in high levels of pesticide residues in food products, leading to their rejection in European and other international markets.

A Call for Increased Awareness and Regulation

The ICCON Registrar echoed Nnamonu’s concerns and called for increased awareness of chemical safety. A participant in the workshop underscored the need for better information on safe chemical usage for vulnerable women and young people engaged in farming. Nnamonu urged the government to address these issues promptly to prevent further economic losses and ensure the health of consumers.

The article not only highlighted the monetary losses due to rejected produce but also stressed the potential health risks posed to consumers by the high levels of pesticide residues. It underscored the need for education and empowerment of farmers on proper chemical usage to ensure compliance with international standards and to increase foreign exchange earnings.

TDPel Media

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