A preliminary review was conducted by the Pesticides Board which revealed that further research is needed regarding these listed chemicals. In the interim, a special technical committee was established to advise on sustainable alternatives to the listed chemicals. This committee is expected to present its findings by October 1st, 2018.
The Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) have been requested to provide support to the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to conduct a full chemical analysis of these products.
The Ministry of Agriculture will launch a national sensitisation programme with all stakeholders within the sector. The Department of Labour takes this opportunity to remind farmers and farm workers of the duty of care needed while using all chemicals. All employers must provide protective gears and a safe working environment for employees in accordance with the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Saboto Caesar, has called on all stakeholders to be appreciative of the suspension on the importation of these chemicals in light of the nation’s quest to promote a safe working environment and good agricultural health and food safety practices.