A bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Pesticide Council, to fight and control insecticide usage has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
Dandutse Mohammed, Chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, who sponsored the bill, said at plenary on Thursday that its importance could not be overemphasised.
He said Nigeria had the greatest comparative advantage in agriculture, adding that plant protection products known as pesticides were imperative to curtail insecticides.
He added that such products required stringent measures in their purchase, use and application as well as those who sold and handled them.
According to him, pests and diseases cause colossal damage to crop yields and quality, and therefore require quality environment to produce and control them.
He said this was to avoid losses of between 50 and 100 per cent, adding that the pesticide bill would address product quality and efficacy.
“There is rampant adulteration and faking of plant protection products known as pesticides because of the absence of the pesticide bill, causing colossal damage to crop soil and economy of millions of farmers,” he said.
He stated that the bill when passed, would empower and enable the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to have a data bank of approved pesticides.
He said it would also help existing manufacturers and importers, and also a compendium of agro-dealers handling the products nationwide.
He said the bill would be a catalyst for promoting food security in the country.Rep Osai Osai (PDP-Delta) in his contribution, lauded the bill, adding that pesticides affected the country’s crop and soil and in the process, damaged farmers’ output.
He said that if passed, the bill would enhance yield and the products would be good for export.
According to him, most of Nigeria’s crops are rejected because of poor yield.
He,therefore, asked that the bill should be allowed to pass second reading.Also, Rep. Haruna Mishelia (APC-Borno), said he was in support of the bill because a lot of pesticides, damaged crops.
He said that with the bill, farmers’ concerns would be addressed.
He also said farmers would be educated on how to use the pesticides to fight insects dangerous to their crops.The house, however, voted overwhelmingly in favour of the bill to scale second reading.(NAN)