During the last 20 years, Seychelles has accumulated a significant quantity of obsolete pesticides as a result of inadequate stock management, bans on certain pesticides, and excess supply from donor agencies.
Often these obsolete stockpiles present a serious risk to human and livestock health, ground and surface water, and the broader environment. Most agricultural pesticides are imported and sold by the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment (MACCE) and the agriculture department’s requisite stores for use by local farmers and gardeners. Another major importer is the Ministry of Health, for vector control (e.g. mosquitoes). The private importers include businesses that are involved in professional household and structural pest management and a private importer who provides agricultural products.
A half-day training was conducted recently by an international consultant, Rogelio Martinez, and national consultant Bobb Petrousse on how to use and dispose of equipment and containers of pesticides.
Content of the training comprised equipment calibration, methods of mixing the products depending on the area, how to properly wear safety gear and the general protocol to undertake inventories.
The training was conducted at the Nayopi Business Centre, Providence for staff from the agriculture department and environment department, public health authority, custom, students from the Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture and other stakeholders from the public sector and private sector.
Participants had the opportunity to interact with the two consultants and discussed broadly on how to sustainably dispose the pesticides containers. Mr Martinez stated that the ingredient used in pesticides is a hazard and any abuse can be hazardous and harmful if exposed carelessly.
He further shared the case study of how Mexico adopted a method on disposing these containers.
According to information from the pesticides board (with representation from health, agriculture, environment, employment, etc.) there is approximately 3 metric tonnes of obsolete pesticides left over from vector control operations.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) will further discuss the disposal of pesticide containers with the Ministry of Health and the environment department.
Source: Seychelles Nation