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Better use of pesticides stressed

2nd February 2013
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Adam Malima

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives will intensify verification and eventual approval of pesticides, especially those used in cotton production in the Lake Zone. 

The deputy minister Adam Malima made the commitment in his response to Mbogwe legislator (CCM), Augustino Manyanda Masele , who queried government’s action on the report that some of the approved pesticides were ineffective. 
  
“In the case of fake pesticides it is possible some dishonest businessmen, who win tenders and present the pesticides products to TPRI (Tanzania Pesticides Research Institute), bring different and fake products to the farmers. We will make a follow-up on this and deal with it squarely,” affirmed Malima.        
  
The farmers were supposed to keep samples when they learnt some of the pesticides were ineffective so as to make easy the inspection and follow-up, the deputy minister remarked. 
  
Earlier, when responding to the original question, Malima said the common American ballworm that affects cotton is dealt with using approved pesticides by experts, based on quantity, quality and expiry period according to scientific criteria. 
  
“During the 2011/12 season the Cotton Development Trust Fund (CDTF) received complaints about the efficiency of some pesticides, especially Zetabestox in Nzega and Uyui districts, Bamethrin in Meatu, Maswa, Kishapu, Shinyanga, Rural and Kahama districts… we directed TPRI to  work on the matter,” noted Malima. 
  
He said on close follow-up and investigation on samples collected from the relevant areas they learnt that the pesticides met quality standards having the active ingredient with the manufacturer’s specifications. 
  
“In view of that the ministry will continue offering farmers education on the correct use of pesticides for efficient results in cotton production. 
 
“This includes mixing, use of sprays and how to spray and therefore the farmers are advised to carry on with the pesticides by adhering to recommended use guidelines,” he explained.     
  
He hinted it was high time for the country to approve Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton for improved quantity of products on a given piece of land and change farmers’ revenues.    
  
“We visited Burkina Faso last year, we found out harvests in an acre are two tonnes of Bt cotton and their lives have changed completely, compared to 100kg harvested by our farmers. 
 
“We have to make firm decision on this, let’s do away with politics and think of good things for our farmers and country,” said Malima. 
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN