JIS News

The Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) is reporting that its programme to register sellers of restricted pesticides has significantly reduced public access to toxic chemicals.
According to Inspector at the PCA, Kerry Helligar, the programme has been for the most part, successful in its aim to keep toxic chemicals out of the hands of those not equipped to use them.
In the first year of the programme, which was launched in 2002, approximately 36 per cent of an estimated 150 farm stores throughout the island were registered. Registration subsequently went up to 63 per cent in the second year.
“We cannot allow those chemicals to be readily available to customers,” Mr. Helligar said at a recent JIS Think Tank.
“We have been working together with the larger retail and distributing entities to enforce this restriction to ensure that householders do not get a hold of the particular pesticide,” he continued.
Under the initiative, pesticides, which are restricted, should only be made available to certified pest control operators. The PCA licensing programme prohibits uncertified pest control operators to purchase restricted chemicals. Certified operators must produce identification in order to purchase the chemical.
Mr. Helligar also informed that farm stores were required to keep their sale receipts and records of all restricted pesticides. He said these were very handy, as they gave an idea of “who purchases what and when”.
He further explained that despite the fact that the PCA controlled the importation of such chemicals and maintained a data system, problems could still occur. “The data either could be messed up or lost right after distribution,” he pointed out.
“Sometimes, we even have to go to rural areas to ensure that the product that comes in even though logged and monitored after distribution, can be accounted for,” he added.
Even with the successes, the PCA Inspector acknowledged that there was room for improvement, especially regarding the compliance of those in the farming communities of Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth, which represents 44 per cent of all farm stores in Jamaica.
A high level of compliance with the programme is observed in the parishes of Hanover, St. Ann, Kingston and St. Andrew.

Skip to content