JIS News

The Pesticides Control Authority exceeded its registration target for various types of pesticides by some 26 per cent for the 2004/2005 financial year, with some 22 more pesticide products registered in comparison to 61 products for the previous period.
According to a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives on October 31, 123 applications were received and processed for the year under review, with all targets for all categories of registrations being exceeded.
“Some 1,129 applications for licences to import registered pesticides were issued representing a 15 per cent increase over the previous year,” the Paper said, adding that 830 of the applications actually arrived at the ports within the reporting period, and reflected an increase of 7.4 per cent over the previous year when 773 licences were processed.
In relation to the importation of pesticides, it was noted that a total of 2,686 tonnes of pesticides with a value of US$12.5 million was imported into the island. The variety of imported pesticides comprised herbicide, fungicide, insecticide, nematicide, rodenticide and others.
Though most of the imported pesticides were for agricultural usage, there was increased use of pesticide for households (11.6 per cent), raw material (47 per cent), public health (34.7 per cent) and veterinary purposes (173.7 per cent).
During the course of the 2004/2005 fiscal year, the Ministry Paper detailed that some 27 additional commercial pest control applications were certified, 25 applicants were certified in the category of general household, one person was certified in the ornamental and turf pest control category, and one applicant was issued certification in the general household category for spraying and rodent baiting. A total of 95 certified pest control applicators were recorded in the Authority’s register for the period. The Paper cited that on the matter of inspections, surveillance remained high as the Authority conducted 175 inspections of premises where pesticides were formulated, stored or offered for sale.
In relation to the Pesticides Residue Monitoring Programme, the report stated that “in fulfilling the programme of the Caribbean Agrochemicals Management Project to develop a mechanism for a national action plan, the Authority convened stakeholder meetings and decided that the main concern for pesticide management was the level of residue on locally available foods.”
It was agreed that the committee would examine both imported and locally produced foods, as well as pesticide residue in the environment, and to this end, the focus would be on fresh fruits and vegetables that are normally consumed raw in the first instance.
Samples of fresh fruit and vegetables were taken at the market, Kingston Port of Entry and supermarkets for residue analysis.
During the period under review, the Authority also responded to requests to analyse drinking water samples; however, no residue was detected.
The Authority’s work in the year also involved collaboration with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, which convened meetings with laboratories involved in pesticide analysis.
“Among the problems identified were the difficulties to obtain standards for quantitative analysis, lack of trained personnel to service equipment and insufficient samples to make pesticide residue analysis economically viable for private laboratories,” the Paper noted.
The Pesticides Control Authority is responsible for regulating pesticides in Jamaica and employs 10 staff members. The organisation relies heavily in information technology in order to maintain records and monitor programmes.