The use of agro-input has undoubtedly contributed significantly to the agriculture sector of this country. Pesticides are substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling any pest or animal on the farm. However poor management of these chemical pesticides has resulted in uncontrolled releases of toxic substances into the environment leading to public health concerns.
The chemical become more dangerous to human health especially farmers when they become obsolete. Ghana in 2009 initiated an obsolete pesticide safeguarding project under the auspices of Croplife International (Croplife Ghana), the ministry of Food and Agriculture and Environmental protection Agency with the sole aim of phasing out obsolete pesticides in the country and temporary keeping them at a temporary storage facility at Pokuase.
With the situation increasing daily and posing more health hazards, the ministry of food and agriculture called on EPA and FAO to help clear the obsolete chemical for appropriate disposal.
In view of this the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in connection with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture on Tuesday launched a technical cooperation programme dubbed ‘’ support for safe disposal of obsolete pesticides’’ to pave way for FAO to dispose 103.68MT out of 183.68MT from Pokuase to Europe with the Environmental Protecton AgencyI(EPA) disposing the remaining 80MT.
The programme officer of FAO, Mark Kwame Offei said when the whole exercise kick start in 2016, it will first create awareness to farmers where the list of obsolete products will be disseminated through the district level , the media and extension officers, down to famers before gathering existing expired pesticides to be disposed properly in Europe. To prevent reoccurrence, there will be a registration mechanism system that will minimize the importation of obsolete pesticides he added.
He mention the exercise will be funded with the sum USD$339,000 and hope to clear and put good systems in place to check the importation of obsolete pesticides.
The deputy minister of food and Agriculture Hon. Mustapha Mohammed who represented the sector minister Hon Fiifi Kwetey, promised government’s adequate support for this project and the efficient use of the fund allocated, for its intended purpose to ensure value for money and finally to make Ghana free of expired agro-chemical and its health threats.
The signing and the official launch of the TCP DOCUMENT was done by FAO representative in Ghana Dr. Berhanu Bedane and the deputy Agric minister Hon. Mustapha Mohammed.