By James Samuel
The need to deregister and prohibit the use of paraquat, a poisonous yellow solid used in solution as a herbicide in farming system has been stressed.
This call was recently made in one Day workshop organized by Coalition Against Paraquat CAP in Collaboration with IITA which held at Brighter Suites Minna, state capital.
The convener of the workshop and the resource person, Prof Musa M. G. Kolo of department of crops production , Federal University Technology (FUT), Minna, in his lead paper presentation titled “Deregistered And Prohibit The Use Of Paraquat in Nigeria” extensive talked on the need to deregister paraquat and it’s use.
He said the workshop was for advocacy and to sensitize the stakeholders that are involved in agricultural Enterprise and those who are sound in the fields to understand the danger in the use of paraquat.
He described Paraquat as a highly hazardous and harmful effect that are not easily taken note of as poisonous.
The crops production expert said 56% of the farmers and other end users were been exposed to Paraquat during it application and such exposure was due to absence of the use of personal protective equipment or personal protective cloth.
He added that most farmers, when exposed to Paraquat failed to consult medical practitioners for treatment, advising that scientific studies have shown it has both chronic and acute effects that could lead to several health problems.
Prof kolo such workshop was important to enlightens not only the farmers but also the public in order to be informed of the implications of the use of paraquat in farming.
He then listed some alternative products that could be used as safe, available, affordable, sustainable and equivalent for annual and perennial grasses, disclosing that 32 countries, including European Union, African other nations have banned or deregistered the use of paraquat while over five thousands have signed petitions against it used in Cayman Islands and the rising rate of pesticides cocktail effects has become alarming in the country.
He said China which accounts for 80% of total export to the world and about 60% or more sold in Nigeria made it necessary for Federal government to see it deregisteration as the quickest way to save multitude current users and to protect the environment.
The Agriculture expert therefore plead for consideration of the tested alternative while calling on marketers and producers to come together to give Nigerian farmers the alternative.
In his presentation titled Save Nigerian Farmers And Environment From Paraquat Toxicity, Dr Emmanuel Daniyan said the most established route to exposure to Paraquat are through inhalation from spraying, oral ingestion ie swallow or eating of some highly contamination foods or through dermal or skin contact.
Dr Emmanuel stated that prompt action needed to be taken against the use of paraquat as many of the farmers might not meet up with precautionary measures.
He also wanted Federal government to step up in funding research in Tertiary institutions in order to develop and tackles most of it challenges.
The seed scientist added that the Coalition against Paraquat are speaking out to protect the Nigerian Farmers, the next generation farmers and it’s farming communities.
He said that CAP were making this urgent calls as concerned professionals and patriots whose research and scientific based evidence wanted government agencies in charge, like NAFDAC to deregister and prohibit the distribution, sale and use of the Paraquat hibicides which is dangerous to humans health and hazardous to environment.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from 25 local government area of the state and those who came from others States like Kwara, Kogi Nasarrawa, and Benue.
The participants however expressed their delight for such workshop while promising to take what they have learnt to local government farmers and for more awareness.