Cocoa farmers task Nigerian govt, SON on pesticides regulation

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By Ehigimetor Igbaugba

Calabar, Aug. 9, 2022 Cocoa farmers in Cross River, have appealed to the Federal Government to tackle the influx of fake and substandard pesticides into the country.

The farmers under the aegis of Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), Cross River chapter, gave the appeal on Tuesday in Calabar.

Mr Ejor Bissong, Chairman of the association in the state, urged the government to set up task force to address the menace.

He noted that the task force could possibly mop up such pesticides, thereby preventing cocoa producers from having access given the negative impact on the quality and tonnes of cocoa produced.

The association also urged Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ban sub-standard pesticides.

He also said that efforts must be made to ensure that these pesticides do not find their ways into the Nigeria market.

Bissong said that there is need to maintain standard and quality cocoa beans known to be of great impact at the international cocoa market.

He said that if cocoa beans produced by farmers in the country were of better quality, the price per ton was likely to increase.

“Good quality beans remain a major determinant of good price,’’ he added.

He made a case for CAN members to get copies of approved standards made available by SON as well as the right methods of application of pesticides and adopt same just like the European Union (EU) standard or the Japanese standard.

“Accredited laboratories are available for determining the true quality of cocoa.

“Policy makers must be encouraged to come up with legislations that are friendly to our case,’’ he said.