Final decision on aerial spraying lies with EPA
The Agriculture Ministry in a statement today, May 4 said aerial spraying of rice for the control of the dreaded paddy bug is the next step in the evolution of the sector.
Currently the matter is engaging the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency, the final authority on whether or not aerial spraying of pesticides would be allowed in Guyana.
The issue of aerial spraying of pesticides came to the fore after the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Board ordered that Air Services Limited immediately stop aerial spraying of pesticides in rice cultivations along the Corentyne coast.
This was after the board was inundated with complaints from farmers and residents of Black Bush and several other villages along the Corentyne front lands.
Currently there are no regulations in place for aerial spraying of pesticides locally, however GuySuCo conducts aerial spraying, but has never used pesticides in this manner.
Aerial spraying of pesticides was one of the hot topics discussed when rice farmers and millers of East Berbice Corentyne met with Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder at Skeldon recently.
Minister Holder informed rice farmers that aerial spraying of pesticides is a complex matter that has to be looked at from all aspects. He pointed out that “the issue of aerial spraying to apply pesticides, although effective, can be damaging to human health.”
Minister Holder explained that while the final decision rests with the Environmental protection agency, the Guyana Rice Development Board and the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals control board will all have an input in guiding the final decision arrived at by the EPA.
The issue of Aerial spraying of pesticides in rice cultivations is being represented by Rice Millers Nand Persaud and Company limited based in East Berbice.