Guyana has developed its agriculture sector in an impressive way over the past few years, and efficient pest management has been essential to the sustainability of farming communities.
This was emphasised by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha during remarks at RID-O-PES Inc’s 40th anniversary and launch of Orkin Thursday evening at Marriott Hotel, Kingston.
He stated that pests in the agricultural sector pose a serious risk to the availability of food and the government acknowledges its crucial role in ensuring food security, and improving the livelihoods of farmers.
“Effective pest control measures are not just a necessity but they are vital parts of the country’s agricultural progress. They are the foundation upon which farmers can thrive, our food production can flourish, and our nation can prosper…We must recognise also the importance of this industry, whether it is in the home, office, factory, or field, pests pose a threat to human health and safety…more importantly, production and productivity… This is why pest control services are so important to the health and safety of citizens and to the agriculture sector as a whole,” the agriculture minister asserted.
He emphasised that pesticides must be managed properly since the safety and health of humans are paramount.
The government is ensuring that the use of pesticides and other chemicals are stringently regulated countrywide.
The Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB) is responsible for this regulatory framework for the utilisation of insecticides and pesticides, which allow for greater safety.
To this end, the government is examining areas such as improved licensing, certification, and continuous education of pest control companies and professionals in this field.
Those involved in pest control services must be suitable, qualified, and certified in compliance with proper safety protocols including the storage, handling, and disposal of chemicals.
Minister Mustapha emphasised that pest control strategies have come a long way and have evolved to meet the challenges of a dynamic agricultural landscape.
To efficiently manage pests while minimising hazards to human health and the environment, integrated pest management has evolved into a holistic and sustainable method.
Farmers can work toward balanced pest control and environmental preservation by integrating cultural practices, biological controls, and targeted pesticide treatments, with integrated pest management control.
“We all know that pests are carriers of deadly diseases…The need for the pest control service for homes, offices, fields, and factories cannot be underestimated. Fortunately for us, pest control can help in the spread of diseases and infections. The pest control sector is a billion-dollar sector globally and it is expected to continue to grow.”
The minister extended congratulations on behalf of President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali to RID-O-PES for its accomplishments.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, and Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Invest Dr Peter Ramsaroop were also present at the event.