Agriculture minister Japhet Hasunga tabled the Plant Health Bill 2020 in the National Assembly here yesterday, where among other issues the proposed law intends to manage importation and use of plants and plant products, along with the prevention of introduction and spread of pests.
The new law is part of efforts to attract investments and doing away with bureaucracy in the plant sector and agriculture. It also seeks to guarantee the availability of fresh and quality plant products on account of a well regulated sector.
The minister said the law will also reduce side effects caused by residues from pesticides such as aflatoxins, heavy metals and contaminants on the basis of regulated activities producing such residues.
“The proposed law will also reduce transactions in obsolete pesticides and empty containers of pesticides which are harmful to plants,” he said.
The new bill control trade in pesticides and ensure overall supervision of specific phytosanitary measures, often a contested issue in regional and international trade law.
Tabling the Bill, Hasunga said that importation and use of plants and plant products was expected to be sufficient, while the new law will regulate importation of pesticides and control counterfeits.
This law will upon accession bring in place conditions on the control of pesticides, administration of plant life, importation of plant products, by regulating and shaping the plant business in the country.
“This law will permit other laboratories to perform studies on imported pesticides as well as give the newly established authority powers to take legal actions, including imposing fines on offences committed,” the minister noted.
The proposed law gives powers to the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) to do any research on pesticides and plant health related issues, he added.