The Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr Osita Aboloma, says Pesticide is a major agrochemical product that can be used to boost food production apart from fertilizer, in the country.

Aboloma said this at a one day sensitisation workshop organised for farmers on Thursday in Kano.

The DG was represented by the Director of Operations in the agency, Engr. Felix Nyado.

He said that the need to produce more food from the increasingly depleted soils was a major concern, not only to farmers but also to large food production companies and governments in the country.

According to him, the workshop with the theme : “The Dangers of using Substandard, Adulterated Pesticides”, was aimed at sensitising farmers across the country on the need to boost agriculture.

“Current worldwide trend shows an increase in the sale of pesticide products that are substandard (contain contaminated contents or do not contain active ingredients).

“Therefore, investigation by the SON on the agrochemical product markets, confirmed Nigeria is not immune from the above global trend,” he said.

Aboloma said substandard, falsified, adulterated, illicit or counterfeit, untrusted and unregulated pesticides were found all over the place and innocent farmers are being wooed to buy them because they are cheap.

“The present government of President Muhammadu Buhari is investing in agriculture to make the country self-sufficient in food production as well as export the surplus to improve the economy,” he said.

The DG noted that the Federal Government has directed SON, other regulatory agencies and Department of Agriculture in the country to strengthen the regulatory approach on the manufacture, sales and distribution of unwholesome pesticides in the market.

They were also directed, he said, to get rid of the criminal gangster involved in the trade malpractice.

Aboloma said that SON would continue to monitor the performance and sale of the products in the markets to guarantee the safety of farmers using them and to protect the environment.

Earlier, the Kano and Jigawa States Coordinator of SON, Alhaji Yunusa Mohammed said the programme would further strengthen collaboration with stakeholders in unleashing an extensive campaign against the sale and use of substandard, adulterated and spurious pesticides in the markets.

Mohammed said if substandard products were eliminated, it, therefore, means that only certified, standard and quality products would be in circulation.