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FAO in Nigeria

FAO trains farmers on use and handling of agrochemicals

Participants in a group photograph after the training was declared open by a representative of Kaduna state government, in Kaduna.

Kaduna - Agriculture has remained the highest employer in Nigeria, with more than one-third of the country’s over 200 million people engaged in the sector. The majority of Nigeria’s agricultural actors are smallholder farmers with limited alternative sources of livelihood.

Farmers are exposed to high health risks while using agrochemical products to enhance productivity and face immense challenges in reading and understanding guidance messages on agricultural inputs like pesticides. In addition, misuse of these agrochemicals has resulted in widescale pollution of the environment in areas with already stressed and fragile ecosystems, including the nation’s waterways.

It is against this background that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is building the capacity of farmers in Kaduna on the use and handling of agrochemicals. FAO’s training aims to mitigate further damage to people and the environment and to educate farmers on best practices in agrochemical use.

FAO’s 3-day training took place from 16 to 18 September 2019 and was held in Kaduna in Nigeria’s northwest. The training is one in the series of six under the Food Africa Project - a FAO-led UN joint project in partnership with UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund, the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), Sahara Foundation and Kaduna State Government.

In a statement, FAO Country Representative Suffyan Koroma highlighted the safety and health issues in the use and handling of agrochemicals.  “There are restrictions on some of the hazardous agrochemicals, but out of the need for better yields and economic benefits which seemingly outweigh the risks, some of these pesticides and herbicides are in the markets and are sold to farmers. As a result of these risks FAO is educating agrochemical users on the danger of the substances they handle,” Koroma said.

30 participants drawn from various farmers’ cooperative societies in Jere community of Kaduna state were trained on safe use and handling of agrochemicals, how the substance can enter the body, protective measures, spillage of agrochemicals and their safe disposal.

Other aspects of the training cover equipment calibration and the need to protect the soil and ecosystems generally.

A delegation from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) northwest regional Office and the Director Kaduna State Agriculture Development Agency (KADA) Mallam Yau Kassim also attended the capacity-building workshop.


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David Tsokar

National Communication Officer

UN House, Diplomatic Drive, Abuja

+234 806 616 2876