In August, the four main importers of pesticides to the island, Queen Mary Stores, Solomons, St Helena Growers Co-operative Society and WA Thorpe and Sons signed a voluntary code of practice together with the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD), agreeing on standards for the way in which pesticides are stored and offered for sale to the public. The code aims to take steps to protect the public from the adverse effects of pesticides and ensure their safe and effective use to produce high quality pest and disease-free crops.
Pesticides are valuable tools in the battle against pests and weeds, but being poisons can be dangerous if not treated with respect. Risks run from the sales staff who handle the boxes, the sprayers and non-targets.
Earl Henry of the St Helena Growers commented:
“The use of pesticides is now a fact of life for us on St Helena; however we must carefully manage their uses to protect both the environment and the food chain.”
Pesticides are formulated in two grades, home and garden use for the general public, and professional use, which are intended for use only by trained professionals.
Under the voluntary code, in the future professional use of products will only be sold to people who have received the required training. One of ANRD’s commitments is to provide this training for anyone interested in using pesticides and the first course will take place in January 2014, with funding assistance from Enterprise St Helena. A call for expressions of interest in getting training in pesticide use should call ANRD on 24724. Further course information, dates, venues and application details will soon be provided.
Darren Duncan, Head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division said:
“This Code of Practice is a small but important step towards a more comprehensive pesticide management system for the Island.”
15 October 2013