Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 27, 2016 (SKNIS): Obsolete pesticides have recently been shipped off island for incineration thanks to the assistance of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).
Minister of Health, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, said that in 2015, a national inventory of obsolete pesticides, mainly from former sugar and cotton industries, was completed.
“These obsolete pesticides were gathered from across the country and stored in a safe place away from human interference and in August, a team from FAO arrived and assisted us in repackaging them securely and shipping them off island for incineration,” said Minister Hamilton.
The Minister noted that the risk once posed of the toxic substances seeping into the ground water no longer exist.
He added that subsequently, “disposal of obsolete pesticides, including Persistent Organic Pollutants, and promotion of alternatives, resulted in strengthening pesticide management in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
“This project allowed us to dispose of an old stock of obsolete pesticides, emptying containers that we had in storage since the closure of the sugar industry,” said Minister Hamilton. “We thank The FAO for this timely intervention.”
The Health Minister said there was public concern pertaining to the adverse effects of chemicals. He reassured that the government has made the management of chemicals crucial to the overall public policy and for this reason the pesticides lab at Needsmust was established.
“This lab, which was sponsored by our friends from the Republic of China (Taiwan), enables us to determine the levels of residual chemicals in agricultural produce,” explained the Minister. “It is heartening to know that local foods are generally pesticides free, evidenced by the results obtained from this lab, which showed 98% samples tested, proving negative for intolerable levels of organic pesticide residues. If we are interested in clean healthy foods, then we must buy local.”