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Establishment of agrochemical levy will sanitise sector


  13 Septembre      14        Agriculture (1511),

   

 

By Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, Sept 13, GNA- Mr Frederick Brandford Boampong, the Programme Manager, Croplife Ghana said the establishment of an agrochemical levy would properly regulate the activities of players in the pesticides and crop protection products industry.
Mr Boampong said Croplife Ghana with support from BUSAC Fund had advocated the establishment of a levy system through the review of the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) 1994, Act 940, to include the agrochemical levy under the Pesticides Management Fund (PMF).
He said Croplife Ghana in collaboration with the EPA and stakeholders in the sector are fine-tuning the Act and also propose a levy to be sent to Parliament for deliberations and approval.
The Programme Manager, speaking at a stakeholders workshop in Accra said the aim of the levy system was among others to generate funds to fully enforce the EPA Act, support and organise training programmes for regulatory and industry personnel.
The levy system is also expected to address the menace of copying and counterfeiting of agrochemical products, the introduction of sub-standard products into the market, and high indiscipline of participants in the industry.
He stated that though the main focus of the advocacy was to generate revenue to support regulators, farmers would be trained and sensitized to ensure full compliance to safety rules and regulations in the agricultural sector.
He said even though the regulatory responsibilities of the agrochemical industry are trusted in the hands of the EPA 1994 (Act 940), supported by Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Department of Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Plant and Fertilizer Act 803, 2010, the institutions appeared helpless in fully executing its mandate.
This, he explained, was largely attributed to inadequate supply of resources such as personnel, equipment and needed logistics to carry out their work effectively, adding that all these challenges were as a result of insufficient financial allocation from the coffers of the consolidated fund.
Mr Boampong said funds generated from the levy would be managed by an independent body and that the success of a similar levy fund established in Kenya influenced the initiative from CropLife Ghana.
Mr Kingsley Ekow Guray-Sey, Acting Director of Legal, EPA said the approval of PMF would provide financial support to improve the control and management of pesticides in the country.
To achieve the objective of the Fund, Mr Gun-Sey said the monies of the Fund would be applied to the establishment and operations of a pesticides quality control laboratory.
Mr Ebenezer Sey, BUSAC Consultant said the support to advocacy was to support build the capacity of private sector organisations in the country to improve their operations for greater outcomes.
Croplife Ghana is a national association of 19 agrochemical importers and distributors in Ghana which is affiliated to CropLife Africa Middle East and part of the International Organisation CropLife International.

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