Educate farmers on effects of agrochemical misapplication

Kumasi, June 12, GNA – A Marketing Manager of Agricultural Products has called for concerted efforts to educate farmers and other users of agro-chemical products on the potential harmful effects of such products if mishandled.

Mr. Fiifi Edwards, the Marketing Manager of the Wynca Sunshine Agricultural Products and Trading Company Limited, said although Wynca’s products were Class Three agro-chemicals approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and not detrimental to the soil, it had the potential side effects on the human body.

He was addressing the media, during a tour of the factory at Boankra in Kumasi, as part of activities to mark the 55th Anniversary of Ghana-China Relations.

Mr. Edwards said it was alarming that some farmers used the empty containers of some of the products such as herbicides or pesticides as drinking cups.

Others mix the chemicals using their bare hands instead of the recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), he said.

These activities, he said, were very dangerous as the products could cause effects such as skin rashes, stomach upsets, nausea, and in extreme cases- blindness and infertility among women when they get into contact with the skin or eyes.

Mr Edwards that: ‘The effects are not the same in everyone. It may be different in individuals so it is important for producers of agro-chemical as well as state institutions in the agricultural sector to intensify education on the right use of such products and the importance of wearing the appropriate PPE.’

In line with this, he said, Wynca Sunshine had undertaken some initiatives in educating the farmers and also preventing the re-use of containers of the products.

Mr. Jack Yao, the Deputy Director of Wynca Sunshine, said the company was currently collaborating with Crop Life Ghana; an association of major importers of agrochemical products, fertilisers and seeds, to educate farmers on the harmful effects of such products.

‘In addition, Wynca Sunshine has begun an initiative to buy back the empty product bottles from farmers for recycling at GH¢ 0.30p per bottle, he said.

‘In its quest to ensure environmental safety, Wynca also recycles and re-uses the excess water used in preparing its products to prevent the dumping of contaminated water in the community’.

Mr. Yao said the company was including Potassium Hydroxide to most of its products to neutralise the acidity in the soil in addition to adding nutrients to boost crop growth.

The Wynca Group, formerly Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group Company Limited of China, obtained majority shares in 2009 to become Wynca Sunshine.

Its main business is the manufacture of chemical products (glyphosates) for agricultural use including pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.

GNA


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