The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform is conducting a four-day workshop at Keetmanshoop in the ||Kharas Region to review regulations on plant quarantining and fertilizer management, animal feed, and agricultural remedies.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found that Namibia lacks specific legislation to regulate the management of chemicals and pesticides.

The current legislative framework on pesticide management contains an array of different pieces of legislation, presenting a high risk to human health and the environment.

The workshop thus aims to prioritize the development of appropriate legislation and revise the structure of the Plant Health Bill based on stakeholder recommendations.

"We have four legal assessments for you to present those findings and recommendations and to discuss because hearing from you is very important for us. The consultation team will refine the legal assessment based on the input we receive from you. But the final draft will be presented at the validation workshop, where again we will appreciate your contributions and your feedback because, then, we will endorse the final draft given that your inputs will be addressed in the final drafts," said Nagris Bozorova, Lead Technical Officer in the FAO Legal Office.

Participants called for improved coordination among government departments responsible for the management of chemicals in the country.

"It was established that some of these acts are outdated; one of the acts, for example, is dated 1947, so therefore, some of these acts are not reflecting current conditions and are not in line with international instruments such as the International Plant Protection Convention of the WHO or the Rotterdam Convention Act."

"All the products that are brought into Namibia are studied, tested, and formulated so they are safe, so that is why we recommend people not to buy any products from the streets that are not regulated or registered in Namibia. So hopefully with this workshop, we are going to strengthen the borders and keep it safer for Namibians."

"So its critically important that we give our inputs to make sure that this new legislation to be drafted is in line with international requirements, good agricultural practices, and as well that we make sure that the products that we are producing comply with international standards, otherwise will jeopardize our markets."

The workshop is set to end on Friday, with the next consultative workshop expected to take place in two weeks' time at Rundu.

Photo Credits


Luqman Cloete