MUSCAT — The Ministry of Agriculture told farmers to seek advice before they use pesticides. Such advice is necessary to avoid any harmful effects on human body and environment.
There has been a steady increase in the use of pesticides in the Sultanate over the last 29 years. This is due to the expansion of farming land, accessibility to foreign markets and associated rise in pesticides imports.
Successes has been made in controlling agricultural pests as a result of the use of chemical insecticides which proved their efficacy, simplicity, cost and positive impact on productivity.
However, use of pesticides by farmers is made at the expense of mechanical, biological and other methods of pest control. Unsafe use of pesticides brings problems like pollution and health disorders.
For example, some minor pests may prosper and become major pests when insecticides destroy their natural enemies. They also pose harm to human health, animals, poultry, honey bees and others.
Therefore, farmers must follow laid down guidelines and ask for advice from local extension centres before they apply pesticides.
Before buying, they must check that the product is properly packed and labelled and has expiry date printed on the package.
The ministry’s crop protection services have improved markedly. Among its services to farmers include familarising the farmers on pest control and pesticides, training them on the use of pesticides.
While the ministry cares for the safe and effective use of pesticides, it also works to ensure safety of farmers, environment and animals. It also regulates import, distribution and application of pesticides.