Empowers 2,000 staff on agric production
By Chioma Obinna & Victoria Ojeme
THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has cautioned farmers on the safe use of pesticides as it is highly dangerous to health, even as it is set to empower 2,000 of its staff on farm production while in active service.
Speaking during a National sensitisation workshop organised for farmers and other stakeholders organised in conjunction with West Africa Agriculture Productivity Programme in Osogbo, Osun State, with the theme “Safe and Responsible Use and Disposal of Pesticide”, the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhill said pesticides may cause acute and delayed health effects in workers who are exposed and can cause a variety of adverse health effect ranging from simple irritation of the skin and the eyes.
Orhii said as agriculture continues to play a major role in the economy of Nigeria and West Africa, contributing more than 40 percent to its GDP and providing income and employment to about 70 per cent of the region’s population, there is need for stakeholders to be concerned about the health of the farmers.
“All applicators must therefore be sensitive to public concerns about pesticide use and apply materials only in a safe and judicious manner as unethical disposal of these pesticides to the environment is a potential threat to public health and environment”.
Orhii who also spoke during a training organised for its staff on GNet Miracle in collaboration with Project Fix Nigeria, in Abuja, said the training was aimed at equipping the NAFDAC staff with the rudiments of farming in all ramifications to improve the earning power of participants, create employment and ensure food security in the country.
“We are empowering our staff by giving them an opportunity to create wealth from the office. Apart from wealth for themselves, they are creating jobs, food security and keying into the agricultural transformation agenda of the President.
Orhii urged the staff to start thinking about retirement from the day they start working.
“They are going to form a corporative where they will contribute a certain percentage of their monthly income while the money works for them. They are still young and monitor the whole process and can start reaping the benefits before and after retirement,” he explained. Earlier, President, Project Fix Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Kowontan Jr. said people all over the world invest money to work for them to create wealth.