Nigeria loses $362.5m yearly to dried beans ban, says Foundation
Cautions citizens against pesticide overuse
Heinrich Böll Stifung Foundation Nigeria has said Nigeria loses about $362.5m yearly, in terms of foreign exchange, to the ban on exportation of dried beans by the European Union (EU) in the last eight years.
Director of the Foundation, Jochen Luckscheiter, disclosure this, yesterday, in Abuja, during the launch of the Pesticide Atlas, with the theme, ‘Fact and Figures about Toxic Chemicals in Agriculture.
Alleging that the pesticides for agriculture imported into Nigeria had been banned in the EU and other countries, he warned that pesticides use have a negative effect on human health.
Luckscheiter, who was represented by Tsema Ede, said: “That the German government has committed itself to creating laws that will prohibit the export of pesticides banned in the EU due to their harmful effects is a welcome development.
“Aside from stopping the import of these toxic substances, Nigeria should chart a deliberate path towards overall reduction in pesticide use. A significant number of pesticides imported into Nigeria have long been authorised or banned in the EU and other countries as well as regions due to their harmful effect.”
He urged the civil society to push for laws that would end the import of toxic substances into the country. Prof. Simon Irtwange of Alliance for Action on Pesticides in Nigeria (AAPN) said: “Nigeria needs stricter pesticide regulations. In particular, we need to end the import of pesticides that have been banned in regions with high safety standards. These products have left Nigerian farmers vulnerable to acute and chronic health effect and damage fertile soil as they accumulate.”
In his address, the Programme Manager of Sustainable Nigeria Programme of the Heinrich Böll Foundation Nigeria, Donald Ikenna, called on the Federal Government to enforce regulation of pesticide importation in the country.
He said: “Nigeria loses about $362.5 million yearly in terms of foreign exchange to the ban on the exportation of beans in the last eight years. The banned beans were found to contain between 0.03mg kilogrammes to 4.6mg/kg of Dichlorvos; a pesticide activity ingredient ban in the EU since 2006 and many other countries like Japan, China, India, Canada, Australia, among other due to its health and environmental.
“In 2013, 24 agro products originating from Nigeria, but exported to the United
Kingdom, were rejected. The figure increased to 42 in 2014 and 24 in 2016.”