East African Community (EAC) Partner States and stakeholders met in Kigali last week to make final recommendations for the region’s harmonised pesticide management guidelines.
They say existing systems of handling pest products at individual country levels are weak.
EAC member countries currently have different policies regarding handling of farm inputs like fertilisers, agrochemicals and pesticides.
Countries in East Africa are formulating formulating a common mechanism for handling agro-chemicals and pesticides amid hurdles in trade and concerns around health and environment safety.
Experts say the more countries in the region seek to boost agricultural productivity for both food security and export markets the more they increase reliance on external farm inputs. This creates a need for strong regulatory frameworks to curb potential disruption of the ecosystem.
They say existing systems of handling pest products at individual country levels are weak and in most cases importation and distribution of the pesticides lacks co-ordination.
Safety of agro-chemicals
EAC Partner States and stakeholders met in Kigali last week to make final recommendations for the region’s harmonised pesticide management guidelines, which are expected to be benchmarked against international standards.
Christophe Bazivamo, deputy secretary-general to the East African Community said with the free movement of goods under the customs union protocols, it was becoming increasingly difficult to ensure safety of agro-chemicals across borders.He added that pesticide residue levels was compromising trade of the region’s agricultural commodities with markets in the European Union and Middle East.“In order to develop an efficient, competitive and sustainable agriculture sector in East Africa, possible adverse effects of pesticides have to be minimised. This is also a pre-requisite for increasing the value and volume of agricultural exports from the region,” said Mr Bazivamo.“Consumers and civil society organisations are concerned about the residues of pesticides in agricultural products in the market and this is a concern that we need to address,” he added.The final draft legislation could be ready for approval by the partner states’ council of ministers in November as per the set timelines.David Wafula, agriculture programme support specialist at the EAC Secretariat said upon ratification, the harmonised guidelines could also facilitate data generation and product registration […]