Ministry reviews Fiji’s registered agricultural chemicals

Minister for Agricuture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy with Ministry for Agriculture permanent secretary Ritesh Dass, middle, and permanent secretary for Enviroment Joshua Wycliffe after a press conference at the Ministry of Agriculture office in Raiwaqa, Suva on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE Ministry of Agriculture is conducting a review of all agricultural chemicals registered in Fiji.

This was highlighted by Agriculture Ministry’s permanent secretary Ritesh Dass during a press conference in Suva yesterday.

He said agricultural chemicals had a role to play in society when used correctly.

“Often we see that in chemical usage it tends to be either misused and an example is sadly that paraquat has been historically used for people to end their lives,” Mr Dass said.

“To get rid of pests that currently exists within our agricultural sector, we tend to overuse a particular chemical or a combination of chemicals, mixed together to form a cocktail to address some of these pests.”

He said the ministry would publish a list of those chemicals and were inviting submissions from members of the public on their views of the situation on the use of those chemicals in Fiji.

“The correct use of chemicals is very important and the ministry is conducting a full review of all the chemicals currently registered in Fiji.

“We will also be conducting public awareness sessions which will commence next week and will run for a couple of weeks.”

Mr Dass adds members of the public and stakeholders have until February 28 to provide relevant submissions in terms of chemical usage and their concerns.

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