Twelve countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia are to work with the European Union (EU) and UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in order to handle their stocks of obsolete pesticides.
NaijaAgroNet authoritatively gathered that about 200,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides could be found in 12 Soviet Union republics and are kept in tens of thousands of unprotected sites.
EU and FAO are making provisions for the sum of 7 million Euro, about N1.44 billion for the next four years to assist Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The funds will be used in managing obsolete pesticides and to also reduce the risks of current stocks.
A press release made available to NaijaAgroNet indicated that the obsolete pesticides pose a serious threat to the health of the people around them and to the environment.
|Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations|
The joint effort will also see to the building of capacity to reduce risks from pesticides used in agriculture and avoid build-up of additional stockpiles in future.
FAO Director-General, Graziano da Silva said that pesticides may be an important input for farming but need to be used responsibly while protecting human health and the environment from their adverse effects.
"In our quest for sustainability and to meet the challenge of feeding a growing population while preserving our environment, we also need to take a good look at the different options we have to protect crops and improve productivity. This includes using natural means to protect and improve crop yields through sustainable crop intensification, or 'save and grow' techniques as we call it at FAO," FAO boss added.
EU Ambassador, Laurence Argimon-Pistre affirmed EU's established policy dialogue and cooperation on environment related issues with its eastern neighbours and Central Asian partners.
"In its new Neighbourhood Policy, the EU will continue to pursue a higher level of environment protection with its eastern partners and be committed to combat environmental degradation," she added. "This includes obsolete pesticides and other hazardous chemicals, whose environmental and health risks are not only at stake for the region but also for the EU".Yinka Awosanya/LS
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