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September 23, 2019

Agro rules enforcement save food safety, environment

The fruits and vegetables we eat everyday should be free from chemicals and should be safe for consumers. But, they are not free from chemical inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides before they arrive on the table. That situation has brought diseases and unnecessary consequences to the health of the people.
Pesticides are widely used in agriculture mainly to increase crop yields to cater to the increasing world population as well as to protect crops from pests and control insect-borne diseases.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation has encouraged farmers to use its good agricultural practices (GAP) protocol in cultivating staple and export crops in an effort to boost the farmers’ income and develop Myanmar’s agriculture sector, which will contribute to economic growth.
Because, increased use of pesticides can result in contamination of the environment and the excess accumulation of pesticide residues in food products which has always been a matter of serious concern. Chemical residues in food and crops are directly related to the irrational application of pesticides in growing crops.
Accumulated pesticide residues in food products have been associated with a broad variety of human health hazards, ranging from short-term effects to long term toxic effects.
This situation has alerted us to enforce the GAP guidelines and the rules for utilizing chemical inputs for the agricultural sector to produce safe foods and to conserve the natural environment.
The health care burden caused by unsafe food has mainly fallen on the people and the government, not on those who produced the food. The unsafe food has directly resulted in losses of human resources.
Those who produce fertilizers and chemicals and those who import and distribute the chemical inputs are to take responsibility for the impact of chemical residues on crops.
The authorities also have responsibility to enforce strict rules on smuggling prohibited chemical inputs and to educate the farmers to ensure that they can use the chemical inputs in correct ways.
One of the best ways to prevent overuse of pesticides, harmful chemicals and chemical fertilisers is educating the farmers about their negative impact on human health and the local environment.
The education programme should ensure that farmers are aware that they are the first victims of such pesticides and chemicals and that fertility of their land will also degrade in the long-run.

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