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Jul 7, 2022

Agricultural & Environmental Representatives Discuss Impacts of Agrochemical Misuse

Agrochemicals are important to the health of the produce we grow for food, but so too are the ways in which we use and apply them. This is what the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security & Enterprise and the Pesticides Control Board are discussing today and tomorrow. The objective is to come up with a strategic plan for the next five years. News Five’s Marion Ali has the story in this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting
Policy makers in the agriculture sector are meeting in a retreat at Dream Valley Resort in Cayo to look at the policies related to the regulation and responsible management of agrochemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides. Their end goal is to reduce the instances when they become harmful, as well as the impact they cause to human and environmental health. Miriam Ochaeta-Serrut is the Registrar of the Pesticides Control Board. She informed that there is a new term being attached to agrochemicals that are miused.

Miriam Ochaeta-Serrut

Miriam Ochaeta-Serrut, Registrar, Pesticides Control Board
“In terms of human health, we have acute effects and also chronic effects that could be associated with the use of pesticides. For the environment, not only pesticides but all agrochemicals do have a – are implicated. Agrochemicals are being implicated in now what’s been called the triple planetary crisis– biodiversity loss, climate change, and pollution.”

CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Servulo Baeza, told News Five that there is startling information coming out of the first round of meetings, particularly as it relates to humans and pesticide intoxication.


Servulo Baeza

Servulo Baeza, C.E.O., Ministry of Agriculture

“Throughout the country I think they mentioned it was over three hundred cases for the year, some willfully, some by accident, and then we had one or two cases by suicide using herbicides. So we have all this gamut – a range of things that we have to look at when dealing with these things.”


Central to the discussion is the Department of the Environment, whose Chief Environmental Officer, Anthony Mai is a member of the Pesticides Control Board. He told News Five that reckless use of agrochemicals can have significant negative impacts on the environment.

Anthony Mai

Anthony Mai, Chief Environmental Officer, Dept. of Environment
“Agrochemicals basically, if they are applied irregularly, they can end up in our waterways and pollution our water system. So, we have to guide, push and promote the best agricultural practices to reduce the possibility of these impacts. As you know there is a legislation or provision under the Lands Act that requires that sixty-six feet be maintained vegetated along any waterway. The original idea of that was that it would have provided an ease for movement, but it also has an ecological function, so it is that that we’re promoting, that that be maintained and in areas where it has been degraded, that it be restored because what it does is provides a buffer and a filter for run-offs from farms before they enter into the waterways.”


The new strategic plan will run from 2023 to 2028.


Marion Ali For News Five


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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