-proper storage will even assist in quelling ‘social issues’, minister says
(Caption: Young farmer Shivraj Singh being shown the inside of the cabinet)
As Agriculture month activities continue, the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture today launched their Pesticides Storage Cabinet Initiative at PTCCB’s office in Mon Repos.
The initiative seeks to provide farmers with appropriate storage for the usually toxic and highly poisonous chemicals that are used in the growth and development of crops.
Delivering the key address at the simple ceremony, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha explained the importance of proper storage of these chemicals and why it was important for the government agencies to assist. “[It is important] that we work with the stakeholders, work with the farmers to enhance their position to store these chemicals in a safe place,” the minister said.
Mustapha went on to highlight that poor management of these chemicals has led to access to pesticides by persons who may use them for purposes they are not intended for. This, he says, can be easily avoided if the pesticides are kept away by ‘lock and key’.
“This [initiative] will help to put it away and by the time someone who is in that passion looks for the keys for that container, they might change their mind and they will help us to also contribute to resolve some of the social issues in society,” Mustapha explained.
The minister expressed his gratitude to the PTCCB and other governing agencies that played a significant role in offsetting the initiative, as it will aid in the enhancement of the agriculture sector and the economy as a whole. “This is why the government has been…helping farmers because we recognize the importance of agriculture to our country’s development,” he said.
20-year-old Shivraj Singh, who was one of the first recipients of the pesticide cabinets given to farmers, expressed his belief that the cabinet will make pesticide storage much easier for him. “I think it gon help we better yes, [especially] for safety…because it have the lock, put thing inside and lock it up,” Singh said.
The PTCCB will continue these donations to farmers across the country, as they are expected to distribute at least 100 of these cabinets annually.