Bulk procurement of pesticides to counter fake inputs—Govt

12Sep 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Bulk procurement of pesticides to counter fake inputs—Govt

THE government is set to introduce bulk procurement of pesticides in the next financial year in a bid to tame rampant counterfeiting and delays that come with the current system of importation.

The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Omary Mgumba.

The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Omary Mgumba told the National Assembly yesterday that the system is scheduled to be in place before the start of the 2020/2021 farming season.

"We are currently finalising the processes but next season it will be used to procure the required pesticides," he said.

Mgumba was responding to a question by Uzini MP Salum Rehani (CCM) who wanted to know when the government would start bulk procurement for pesticides.

Rehani also wanted the government to introduce alternative chemicals for cashew instead of sulphur.

The lawmaker said that last year some farmers ended up in losses having used fake pesticides after delays in the supply of genuine pesticides.

“So, when will the government be ready to come up with a system that will be friendly to farmers?” he demanded. He also sought to know when the government will be ready to sit down with cooperative unions and come up with better schedule to import and distribute pesticides.

Responding, the deputy minister said new pesticides like triafimenol, hexaconazole and tubaconazole would be introduced next season, but sulphur will also continue to be in use.

Sulphur is an insecticide and fungicide as well as rodenticide on several crops including cashew, which is highly affected by powdery mildew, cashew leaf, nut blight, dieback and fusarium wilt. Minor cashew diseases include anthracnose, damping off and leaf spots.

“Sulphur will continue to be in use because of its effectiveness in cashew as it makes the crop organic,” he stated.

The government through cashew board will continue to partner with different players including cooperative unions in assessing the demand of pesticides and schedule of importation, he affirmed.

The government through the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) will reinforce control of pesticides in the country and remove unwanted ones, he added.