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Press Release On The Regulation And Control Of Pesticides In Nigeria

October 24, 2022,

The attention of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been drawn to a call from certain quarters which was expressed in a recent online publication by the DAILY POST, insinuating that NAFDAC has failed in its duties to regulate and control the use of Pesticides in the country and further called on the federal government to set up a new Agency to take up that function. The press release is to put the records straight and re-iterate NAFDAC’s ongoing regulatory activities in relation to pesticides and agrochemicals.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control wishes to draw the attention of the public, and the agro-dealers, and farmers (the sectors NAFDAC interacts with closely) to the activities of NAFDAC in the regulation and control of pesticides used in Nigeria. The regulatory activities of NAFDAC rest on the Agency’s mandate stated in NAFDAC Act Cap N1 LFN 2004 amidst other laws to ensure safety, quality and efficacy as well as establish compliance with global best practices.

Pesticides are used in agriculture, public health, horticulture, and food storage. Pesticides are manufactured and imported through very strict regulatory processes to ascertain the safety of handlers and minimal impact on human health and the environment, but serious concerns have been raised about health risks resulting from misuse and abuse through occupational exposure and from residues in food and drinking water resulting into acute, chronic, and environmental effects.

NAFDAC has continually reviewed its guidelines and strengthened collaboration with MDAs and stakeholders to ensure effective control of pesticides. The NAFDAC laboratories are ISO 17025 certified and ensure that all packaged food products for local consumption and export follow the Codex Minimum Residue Limits (MRLs). Our activities target professionalism, food security and food safety from farm to plate by ensuring that only safe and right quality food and pesticide products are available for consumption and use. The core activities of the Agency on pesticides are:

  • Inspection of Production Facilities and Warehouses
  • Development of Guidelines, Standards and Regulations in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
  • Registration of Pesticide products
  • Quality control /Laboratory analysis
  • Research Activities towards Regulatory Decisions and Risk Assessment Identification
  • Effective Surveillance and Continuous Monitoring of Safe and Responsible use of Pesticides.
  • Issuance of e-License/Permits
  • Listing of Pesticide and Agrochemical Marketers
  • Port Inspection of pesticides at the points of entry
  • Investigation and Enforcement to ensure compliance
  • Creating Awareness and Establishing Strong Relationships with stakeholders

As part of the Agency’s efforts to safeguard the health of the Nigerian populace in 2019, the underlisted regulatory measures and controls were put in place to arrest/mitigate the abuse and misuse of Agrochemicals:

  1. NAFDAC banned the importation and manufacture of 100ml pack size of Agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos with immediate effect.
  2. NAFDAC banned with immediate effect hawking of all agrochemical formulations.
  3. Mandatory listing of Dealers (distributors/marketers/retailers) of agrochemicals.
  4. Training and certification of Agro-input dealers nationwide in collaboration with CropLife Nigeria and Nigeria Agro-Input Dealers Association (NAIDA)
  5. The Agency introduced a permit to clear all bulk pesticides and agrochemicals.
  6. Sensitization of stakeholders on safe and Responsible use of Pesticides and Agrochemicals nationwide
  7. NAFDAC advises the general public to desist from the misuse of agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos as household insecticides.

In 2020, the Agency in a collaborative effort reviewed the safety profile of some registered agrochemicals in Nigeria and in consultation with relevant stakeholders, initiated a four -year phase out plan for Paraquat and Atrazine products considering the health risks these products pose to public health, and bearing in mind the need to have in place adequate and suitable replacements for these products. In light of the foregoing, the ban and enforcement action for Paraquat and Atrazine are as follows:

  1. The importation of Paraquat and Atrazine is to stop on 31st December 2022 and 2023 respectively.
  2. Moratorium for the exhaustion of available stock for Paraquat and Atrazine will be January- December 2023 and 2024 respectively.
  3. Ban and enforcement action for Paraquat and Atrazine will commence on 1st January 2024 and 2025 respectively.

The Agency recently reviewed the list of registered pesticides due to their associated health implications and stakeholders will be engaged to discuss the proposed phase-out of the following products.

  1. Anthraquinone, Carbendazim, Chlorothalonil, Clothianidim, Diquat Dibromite, Diquate Dichloride, Oxadiargyle, Thiacloprid, Ametryn and Methomyl, Carbofuran and Chlorpyrifos
  2. Reclassification of use for the Amitraz, Fipronil, Flocoumafen, Permethrin, and Cyfluthrin

NAFDAC wishes to advise relevant stakeholders to adhere to all regulatory measures when handling or using pesticides. The Agency is committed to safeguarding the health of Nigerians and seeks the cooperation of Nigerians in achieving the mandate.

NAFDAC………safeguarding the health of the Nation!!!

Director General

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