NAREI receives 15 pesticide storage cabinets for effective storage of monocrotophos

The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) on Tuesday received 15 pesticide storage cabinets valued $700,000 from the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB).

During the simple presentation ceremony at the PTCCB’s Mon Repos Office, Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha said the cabinets would now ensure proper storage of dangerous chemicals such as monocrotophos. He said the NAREI and PTCCB had collaborated to ensure the chemical was made available to the farmers in a safe and manageable way, and the cabinets would be a boon to those efforts.   

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha.

“During my outreaches to areas like Wakenaam and other parts of the country primarily known as large-scale coconut producing Regions, farmers made requests for this particular chemical. Much consideration was given to these requests given the toxicity of this chemical and our efforts as a Government to tackle pesticide suicide.

The Registrar was made aware of these requests and insisted that special emphasis be placed on how these chemicals were going to be stored. With that in mind, the PTCCB committed to making these cabinets available and today they are making good on that commitment. These are the kinds of efforts that we are putting in place to develop the sector in a safe and sustainable way,” the Minister said.

Minister Mustapha while handing over the pesticide storage cabinets.

He said the exercise today is another demonstration of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that investments are made in the sector to ensure farmers and their families are safe, even as it provides the necessary support to help realise the potential of emerging industries like coconut.

Meanwhile, Registrar of the PTCCB, Ms. Treica David said the Board would be working with NAREI to ensure farmers and extension officers have a clear understanding of the requirements by which the chemicals should be used and stored.

Registrar of the PTCCB, Trecia David.

“Today, we’ve collaborated with our sister agency, NAREI, to allow them to have access to pesticides storage cabinets which will be sent to the various regions where these chemicals will be stored. We’ve also worked with NAREI to ensure there is an understanding of the requirements by which these chemicals are to be used.

Some of the cabinets that were donated.

Monocrotophos is restricted in Guyana for use in the coconut industry. One of the things we’ve worked with NAREI on is to ensure that extension agents understand that these pesticides need to be stored in accordance with the law, and given to farmers for the treatment of pests only in coconuts with relevant records kept, both by the farmer and NAREI, and back to storage once they’ve been used,” Ms. David said.

The cabinets would be distributed across the coconut-producing regions.  The PTCCB will continue to execute its mandate through the holistic and comprehensive management of pesticides and toxic chemicals in Guyana with key support at the national level.

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