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 three popular herbicides also commonly known as weedkillers.
A release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour says this suspension on the importation of Round-Up, Touchdown and Glyphos and any other chemical containing the active ingredient glyphosate comes pending a technical review by the Ministry.
According to the release, 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 to conduct a full chemical analysis of these products.
Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar, is calling 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.
The Ministry of Agriculture says it will launch a national sensitization programme with all stakeholders within the sector.
The Department of Labour is reminding 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.