Investments in pest control necessary but easy access must be curtailed – Agri. Minister


By Kurt Campbell

Guyana is leading the 25 by 2025 regional goal to reduce food imports through more local production but to achieve this, there is a growing demand for investment in pest control.

Guyana’s Agriculture Minister. Zulfikar Mustapha says with the remarkable strides made in agricultural development, pest control is now playing a pivotal role in ensuring the success and sustainability of farming communities.

“Within our agricultural sector, pests represent a potent threat to food security. As the Minister of Agriculture, I am particularly concerned about this and alert to the threat posed by pests to the country’s agricultural sector.

“Effective pest control measures are not just a necessity; they are a vital part of our agricultural progress. They are the foundation upon which our farmers can thrive, our food production can flourish, and our nation can prosper,” Mustapha told a gathering recently.

He highlighted the substantial financial losses pest can cause for farmers while disrupting supply chains and increasing food prices for consumers.

“By investing in pest control, we safeguard our agricultural investments, stimulate economic growth, and enhance our nation’s resilience in the face of global challenges.”

But beyond this, he said pest control can and does save lives as he called for the implementation of regular pest control measures.

Pest control, however, is not without its risks. There are potential threats associated with the use of pesticides and chemicals for pest control purposes.

“I am concerned about the easy access which persons have to pesticides. Within the agricultural sector, we are aware of the use and overuse of some pesticides and in the ease with which some persons are able to obtain these supplies.

“I am also concerned with the residual effects of chemicals used for pest and insect control. Today, even as this sector grows, we encourage the use of lesser toxic chemicals and a reduction in the dependency on highly toxic chemicals for use, as the risk to health can be significantly increased,” the Agriculture Minister added.

He said the government is ensuring that the use of pesticides and other chemicals is stringently regulated and policed. The Pesticides and Toxic Chemical Control Board (PTCCB) is responsible for this regulatory framework for the use of insecticides and pesticides, which will allow for greater safety.

Among the areas in which we are being examined, are improved licensing, certification, and continuous education of pest-control companies and professionals in this field.

Mustapha said the government will also review the licensing and approval of pest-control products to ensure that only safe products are authorized for importation, entry, and use in Guyana.

“Given our open borders, it is not uncommon for deadly chemicals to be smuggled into Guyana. As such any review of existing products must be backed by more stringent enforcement,” he added.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.