Security officers, including police, customs officers and other regulatory agents in the country have attended a day’s workshop on identifying sub-standard agrochemicals.
The workshop which was held in Wa, the Upper West Region Capital was organised by CropLife Ghana, an association for Agrochemical importers and distributors in Ghana and affiliated with CropLife Africa Middle East (CLAME),
Part of the activities of CropLife AME through CropLife Ghana Association is the provision of stewardship (safe-use training) to farmers, input-dealers and the general public including Security bodies and the regulatory agencies.
The Plant Science Industry is committed to promoting practices that encourage the responsible, safe and efficient use of its products and also to sensitize stakeholders on current issues being tackled by the agrochemical industry to curb or minimize issues on counterfeiting especially along the border towns of Ghana.
In his presentation, Mr. Frederick B. Boampong, Programs Manager of CropLife Ghana hinted that there have been several complaints from neighboring countries about the porous nature of Ghana’s borders which encourages agrochemical products mostly labeled “Not For Sale” and other unregistered agrochemical products to their markets, and therefore believes the security operatives should check this canker to ensure farmers in the sub-region, especially Ghana, engage or use only approved and registered pesticides and fertilizers for their farming in Ghana. He also reiterated the fact that the country stands to gain in revenue if these loopholes at the borders are permanently blocked and perpetrators apprehended.
Mr. Boampong recalled similar workshops have been held in the Volta, Western, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Greater Accra Regions all in a bid to ensure security officers especially GRA-CEPS officers manning the borders do the right thing by making sure pesticides and fertilizers to and fro Ghana are of the right quality and with the appropriate documentation.
He urged Government and stakeholders in the Agricultural sector to provide adequate security at the country’s borders to ensure agrochemical products and fertilizers coming in and going out of the country are properly documented to guarantee our farmers get the right approved products for farming.
Mr. Joseph Edmund, Deputy Registrar of Pesticides of CCMC/EPA, made a presentation on the overview of the legal framework for pesticide management, Pesticide Registration, Labeling and importation of Pesticides into the country.
Speaking in an interview on behalf of the Participants, Seth T. Zowornu, an officer in charge of the Ghana Revenue Authority-Customs Division in Hamile noted that the workshop was timely as it has built their capacity in identifying the fake agrochemicals in this modern era.
He also thanked the organizers for the sensitization on the pesticide register and the proper scrutiny of the documentation presented at the borders by importers. He pledged his support to bring a change in the ways of doing things henceforth as far as pesticides and fertilizers are concerned, to safeguard the revenues for the country, for the benefit of our gallant farmers.