The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has placed an immediate suspension on the importation of pesticides that contain the acting ingredient glyphosate.
Acting on the advice of the Pesticides Board, the government said the chemical is found in pesticides such as Round-Up, Touchdown and Glyphos.
According to a statement on Friday, the move is 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,” the statement noted.
Meanwhile, 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 to conduct a full chemical analysis of these products.
The Ministry of Agriculture is also scheduled to 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 gears and a safe working environment for employees in accordance with the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the statement added .
With the suspension of these products, Agriculture Minister Saboto Caesar, has called on all stakeholders to be appreciative of the suspension on the importation of the chemicals “in light of the nation’s quest to promote a safe working environment and good agricultural health and food safety practices.”