TANZANIA – To prevent the entry of pesticides, herbicides, and other consumable chemicals into the nation, the Tanzania Plant Health and Pesticides Authority (TPHPA) has set up 37 laboratories at border crossings.
Prof. Joseph Ndunguru, acting Director of TPHPA, stated that the action intends to stop recent instances of pesticide and herbicide penetration, some of which are dangerous.
“We have set up the mini laboratories on all the 37 marine and surface points where Tanzania borders with eight countries as well as at the international airports,” said Prof Ndunguru during the United Nations International Day of Plant Health.
He said that in an effort to strengthen the TPHPA Analytical Laboratories Section and guarantee that all bases are covered, the authority has purchased 20 aerial drones, 19 motorcycles, and seven motor vehicles.
The primary goal of border inspections, according to TPHPA Principal Research Officer Eliningaya Kweka, is to make sure the chemicals are not hazardous and harmful to crops, plants, and farm harvests as the nation strives to be self-sufficient in food.
“The laboratories will also analyze all pesticides being exported out of Tanzania to ensure that they are safe for the environment as well,” Kweka said.
Recent checks of 1016 outlets in 18 regions discovered 948 stores selling authorized pesticides, or 93% of the outlets, during the inspections.
Insecticides used domestically to get rid of cockroaches and mosquitoes were discovered to be stored in only 6.9% of the stores.
The TPHPA, the national authority for the regulation of Plant Health and Pesticide concerns, deals with a range of issues, including conducting formulation and residue analyses of pesticides and collecting environmental samples for residue analysis in accordance with acceptable laboratory procedures.
Along with managing pesticide complaints involving quality assurance checks and intervention plans, the authority also works to create high-quality analytical findings, including certificates of analysis.
Last month, Tanzania banned the use of 44 pesticides with active ingredients that are harmful to human health and the environment
The Deputy Agriculture Minister, Anthony Mavunde revealed that between 2018 and 2021, the government carried out reviews to identify harmful pesticides to the health of humans and the environment.
He said the government was routinely conducting tests to detect the presence of pesticide residue in all agriculture crops.
“Currently, we have procured a rapid test kid that will enable us to test pesticide residue in vegetables in order to protect consumers,” he said.