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Regional News of Saturday, 31 July 2010

Source: GNA

Workshop for agro-input dealers held at Kade

Kade, July 31, GNA -The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) at the Weekend stated that pesticides were not like any commodity on the market and that people who had not been registered and given license had no right to be an agro-inputs dealer.

Mr Charles Blui, Officer in charge of Pesticides of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services of MOFA gave the caution at a day's workshop for the Kwaebibirem District members of the Ghana Agro-inputs Sellers Association at Kade.

He said there were regulations as to who had the right to import, export, manufacture and deal in agro-inputs, which should be rigorously followed.

Mr Blui said agro-inputs shops should be sited some distance from where people and animals live or where food is prepared or sold to the public.

He indicated that dealers and uses of those pesticides should also ensure that they do not get near to running water, which could poison consumers of the water and kill aquatic life.

Mr Blui said structures for the sale of the inputs should also be well ventilated and they should be impervious to water, adding that, wooden kiosks were not permitted and the floors of the structures should have no cracks.

He advised agro-input dealers to have adequate supply of water for frequent hand washing.

Mr Blui observed that most of the shops did not have fire extinguishers which were vital, since some of the chemicals were flammable.

He urged that shops should have warning signs conspicuously placed in their front, indicating the undesirability of eating, drinking or smoking at those places.

Mr Blui advised agro-chemical users to have protective clothing or overalls, Wellington boots, hand gloves and nose guards (respirators), and goggles.

Mr Kofi Ametepe, Kwaebibirem District Director of MOFA, advised that agro-input dealers should be able to read and understand the English Language, since labels on the inputs were written in English.

He said since knowledge had become dynamic and the world keeps changing, it was necessary for the input dealers to refresh their minds with the organization of workshops at regular intervals.

Mr Ametepe said it was forbidden for agro-chemicals to be sold on table tops like any other commodity, adding that, inspectors would be going round to ensure that regulations regarding the sale of those inputs were strictly adhere to.

He warned that shops flouting the regulations could be sanctioned or even closed down.