The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has expressed concern over the importation and use of pesticides that have been banned in Europe in Nigeria. The agency is seeking the support of stakeholders to eliminate harmful pesticides from Nigerian markets.
According to a report by the Heinrich Boll Foundation, 40% of pesticides used in Nigeria have been banned in the European Union. NAFDAC is worried about the toxicity associated with the misuse and abuse of pesticides, which affects food safety and food security.
In a statement signed by the agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, said, “The dangers posed by pesticides are of immense concern to the agency and there have been recent concerns from stakeholders such as the report of the study conducted by Heinrich Boll Foundation.”
NAFDAC’s mandate is to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale, and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, detergent, and others. The agency has reviewed and analyzed the list of registered pesticide and agrochemical active ingredients in the NAFDAC Registered Product Automated Database vis-à-vis activities banned, non-approved.
The agency shared the outcome of the review with stakeholders at a three-day virtual stakeholders’ engagement, which focused on the proposed phase-out and ban of the active ingredients. The meeting agreed that pesticide and agrochemical importers and manufacturers would be advised to institute stewardship plans such as post-marketing surveillance and research in their companies.
NAFDAC would collaborate with research institutes in the conduct of research and scientific data generation on pesticides to enable the agency to make evidence-based decisions and policies. The agency would also intensify post-marketing surveillance nationwide and continually sensitize and educate relevant stakeholders on the safe and responsible use of pesticides.
NAFDAC would engage with other sister agencies like the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria. The agency would also engage with the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency and the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service to ensure synergy in the regulation of pesticide and agrochemical products.