The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

The Gov­ern­ment of St. Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines, act­ing on the ad­vice of the Pes­ti­cides Board, has placed an im­me­di­ate sus­pen­sion on the im­por­ta­tion into St. Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines of Round-Up, Touch­down and Glyphos and any other chem­i­cal con­tain­ing the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent glyphosate pend­ing a tech­ni­cal review by the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Forestry, Fish­eries, Ru­ral Trans­for­ma­tion, In­dus­try and Labour.

A pre­lim­i­nary review was con­ducted by the Pes­ti­cides Board, which re­vealed that fur­ther re­search is needed re­gard­ing these listed chem­i­cals. In the in­terim, a spe­cial tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee was es­tab­lished to ad­vise on sus­tain­able al­ter­na­tives to the listed chem­i­cals. This com­mit­tee is ex­pected to present its find­ings by Oc­to­ber 1, 2018.

The Caribbean Agri­cul­ture Re­search and De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute (CARDI), the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion (FAO) of the United Na­tions and the In­ter-Amer­i­can In­sti­tute for Co­op­er­a­tion on Agri­cul­ture (IICA) have been re­quested to pro­vide sup­port to the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture in St. Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines to con­duct a full chem­i­cal anal­y­sis of these prod­ucts.

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture will launch a na­tional sen­si­ti­sa­tion pro­gramme with all stake­hold­ers within the sec­tor.

The Depart­ment of Labour takes this op­por­tu­nity to re­mind farm­ers and farm work­ers of the duty of care needed while us­ing all chem­i­cals. All em­ploy­ers must pro­vide pro­tec­tive gear and a safe work­ing en­vi­ron­ment for em­ploy­ees in ac­cor­dance with the laws of St. Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines.

The Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture, the Hon. Saboto Cae­sar, has called on all stake­hold­ers to be ap­pre­cia­tive of the sus­pen­sion on the im­por­ta­tion of these chem­i­cals in light of the na­tion’s quest to pro­mote a safe work­ing en­vi­ron­ment and good agri­cul­tural health and food safety prac­tices.

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