The government and stakeholders in the agricultural sector have been urged to provide adequate security at the country’s borders to ensure that import and export of agrochemical products and fertilisers are properly documented to guarantee the right approved products for farmers.
The Programmes Manager of Croplife Ghana, an association of agrochemical importers and distributors, Mr Frederick B. Boampong, who made the call on behalf of the association, said there had been several complaints from neighbouring countries about the porous nature of Ghana’s borders, which allowed agrochemical products mostly labelled “Not For Sale” and other unregistered ones to their markets.
He said it was time steps were taken to check this canker to ensure that farmers in the sub region, especially Ghana, engaged in best agricultural practices with the right agrochemicals and fertilisers.
Mr Boampong was speaking in an interview with the Press at a sensitisation workshop for officers of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Environmental Protection Agency and Plant Quarantine Officers of Ministry of Food and Agriculture from the border posts in the three Northern Regions organised by CropLife Ghana.
The workshop, which was held in Tamale in the Northern Region, emphasised the identification of illegal agrochemicals and ways of preventing these chemicals from being trafficked to and from the country through the border posts.
Part of the activities of CropLife AME through CropLife Ghana Association is the provision of stewardship (safe-use training) to farmers, input-dealers and the general public including security bodies and the regulatory agencies.
Mr. Boampong recalled thst similar workshops had been held in the Volta, Western, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Greater Accra regions in a bid to ensure that custom officers did the right thing by ensuring that agrochemical products and fertilisers coming and leaving the country were of the right quality and properly documented.
The workshop was facilitated by the Deputy Registrar of Pesticides of CCMC/EPA, who made a presentation on the Registration, Labelling and importation of Pesticides into the country, and the Northern Regional Director of Pesticides of MoFA, Mr Chris Akai, who presented issues bordering on fertilisers and seeds.
Speaking in an interview on behalf of the participants, the officer in charge of the Yendi Customs Division of the GRA, Mr Richard Ocran-Haizel, noted that the workshop was timely as it had built their capacity to identify fake agrochemicals. He called on other stakeholders to emulate the Croplife Ghana example by organising similar workshops to safeguard the agricultural industry