The Tanzanian government has banned the use of 44 pesticides that are harmful to human health and the environment, Deputy Agriculture minister, Anthony Mavunde, told the Parliament yesterday.
He was responding to a question from Special Seats MP, Asha Abdullah Juma, who sought to know when the government would complete reviews to identify harmful pesticides that were still in use.
Mr Mavunde who doubles as Dodoma Urban legislator said between 2018 and 2021, the government carried review to identify harmful pesticides to the health of human and environment.
“The review identified 44 pesticides with active ingredients that are harmful to the health of human and environment,” he said.
He said following the identification, the government through the Tanzania Plant Health and Pesticides Authority (TPHPA), has started taking action to stop the use of the 44 chemicals.
“The government is continuing inspecting warehouses and shops to identify other harmful pesticides,” he said
He said TPHPA has been doing routine inspections and implementing procedures to identify hazardous pesticides that cause harm to crops, human health and animals in accordance with Section 54 of the Plant Health Act, 2020.
The section of the law directs the registrar of pesticides to de-register and ban chemicals causing harm to human health and environment.
Responding to the lawmaker’s supplementary question, Mr Mavunde said the government was routinely conducting tests to detect the presence pesticides residue in all agriculture crops.
“Currently, we have procured a rapid test kid that will enable us to test pesticides residue in vegetables in order to protect consumers,” he said.
Regarding claims of ineffective pesticides that have given maize farmers difficult time to control harmful insects as alleged by Special Seats MP Cecilia Paresso, Mr Mavunde said the government was aware of the problem and it was acting through the TPHPA to address the problem.