An environmental group, Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADeV) has decried the usage of High Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) and urged the government and regulatory bodies to review and regulate pesticides in the country. SRADev also urged the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to release the ‘Hazardous Pesticides Chemicals Regulation’ finalised two years ago.
The group lamented that the processes have been delayed due to unnecessary human factors and bureaucratic bottlenecks.
Addressing newsmen at a press briefing held in Lagos, with the theme ‘Facilitating Local Action for Sustainable Management of HHPs in Lagos,’ SRADeV Executive Director, Dr. Leslie Adogame, said HHPs are known to cause severe or irreversible harm to health or the environment under conditions of use in a country that may be considered to be and treated as highly hazardous.
He added that continuous use of pesticides affects soil water and nutrient retention capacity, thereby raising the economic cost of farming.
According to a study carried out by the NGO, the occurrence of pesticides in the environment as a result of indiscriminate or intentional use has resulted in its persistence in the environment, thereby affecting the ecosystems and non-target organisms.
Adogame noted that Glyphosate, Paraquat Dichloride, Dichlorvos (DDVP otherwise called Otapiapia), Chlorpyrifos are categorised as dangerous HHPs and are banned in many countries but still highly imported into Nigeria and registered for use in agriculture.
He also lamented that Nigeria has no comprehensive policies in place to fund, implement or promote research as well as the practice into organic farming, agroecology or any other sustainable agricultural strategy.