Farmers adhering to international pesticide standards, says RADA
The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is assuring Jamaica that local foods are safe for consumption and are produced in keeping with international pesticide standards.
Principal Director for Technical Services at RADA, Marina Young, said the training programmes and surveys conducted by the agency, and its ongoing collaboration with various stakeholders, have ensured the continued proper use of pesticides by persons in the agriculture sector.
“Many farmers in Jamaica have good agricultural practices. They have been exposed to training and they understand the risk of pesticides. In our 2016 survey of farmers' knowledge, skills and attitudes [towards] chemicals, it was seen that the majority of the farming population are aware of and practising the international standards,” she pointed out.
Young was speaking at a Think Tank held on Friday (July 19) at the JIS headquarters in Kingston.
She noted that farmers have shown extensive knowledge of pre-harvesting interval, which is the amount of time that must elapse after pesticide application before the crop is reaped.
Young said that RADA’s collaboration with Government agencies has proved critical in ensuring that the majority of pesticide products registered in Jamaica are in the lower toxicity classes.
“The Ministry of Health, through the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) and the Pesticides Review Committee, has made tremendous efforts for the last decade to review and make a decision on withdrawing the highly toxic chemicals. We have withdrawn most of the class one and class 1A pesticides from the market,” she pointed out.