Pesticide management to improve

LEGAL frameworks which are properly enforced need to be implemented into the pesticide management schemes in Pacific Island countries.

This was highlighted last week at a regional workshop at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) office in Suva.

The workshop was aimed at highlighting and reviewing pesticide management measures in place in the Pacific region.

“Pesticides are poorly managed from their point of entry into the country to their end of life.

“The vast majority of farmers lack access to and knowledge of the minimum risk management requirements,” said Dr Francesca Mancini, the workshop co-ordinator and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Pests and Pesticides officer.

“Pesticide externalities on human health and the environment can place a heavy financial burden on national economies and society in general.

“As a result, the importance of responsible pesticide management is now widely recognised by governments, industry, civil society and farmers.”

Dr Mancini also said it was important to recognise the progress, which had already been made.

“Important efforts have been made in recent years to improve the management of pesticides.

“In the Pacific, FAO has found two strong partners in the SPC and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme to address the disposal of obsolete pesticide stocks, assess contaminated sites and promote alternatives to chemical use such as integrated pest management.”

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