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Stop Influx of Fake, Substandard Pesticides, Cocoa Farmers Urge FG

Cocoa farmers in Cross River State, have urged the Federal Government to stem the influx of fake and substandard pesticides into the country. The farmers also appealed to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure pesticides imported into the country are of high standard. Specifically, farmers under the aegis of Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), Cross River chapter, made the appeal in a communique signed by its Chairman, and Secretary, Mr Ejor Bissong and Mr Shittu Olawale, after a meeting held on Tuesday in Calabar. The communique revealed that the association called for the prohibition of substandard pesticides in the country, warning that unless something was done to salvage the situation, Nigeria will lose patronage of its cocoa produce at the international market due to poor quality cocoa beans. Also, it tasked governments at all levels to ban the sale and usage of fake pesticides due to the negative impact they have on the quality of cocoa beans as well as the price of Nigerian cocoa at the international market. The communique read, “Members of CAN should get copies of approved standards made available by SON, right methods of application of pesticides like the European Union (EU) standard or even the Japanese standard and adopt them. “Both Federal and state governments should set up a taskforce that would monitor the quality of cocoa beans produced by farmers in the country to meet standards required at the iInternational market. “We need to move away from conventional to organic cocoa that is certified because the quality of our produce determines the country’s national image. “Accredited laboratories must be available for determining the true quality of cocoa. “Policy makers must be encouraged to come up with legislations that are friendly to our case.’’

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