Stakeholder Consultation Shines a Spotlight on Pesticide Awareness Week, 2023

Dr. Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer and Chair of the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): As part of the ongoing activities to observe Pesticides Awareness Week (October 02-05), a pivotal stakeholder consultation was held on Tuesday, October 03, 2023, at the Department of Agriculture Conference Room at La Guerite.

With the local theme “Understanding Pesticide Labels,” the event aimed to foster deeper understanding, collaborative solutions, and broader awareness around the safe use and importance of accurately interpreting pesticide labels.

Jeanelle Kelly, the Director of Agriculture, facilitated the gathering which witnessed the participation of a diverse group of stakeholders. The attendees included farmers, who play a crucial role in the practical application of pesticides, and government officials vested with the mandate of formulating and overseeing related policies.

Dr. Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer and Chair of the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board, delivered insightful remarks, highlighting the significance of the week and the crucial need for everyone involved in agriculture to be well-acquainted with pesticide labels. Her words underscored the overarching goal of the week – promoting safety, efficacy, and environmental consciousness.

Dr. Laws shared that the day’s consultation was crucial for all attendees to glean essential information about the Board’s operations. Moreover, it was an opportunity for stakeholders to receive a status update on the proposed Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Bill.

Addressing the attendees, Dr. Laws said that “recent literature reveals a surge in the use of pesticides and toxic chemicals to tackle common pests.” She further stressed that it is imperative for the Ministry of Agriculture and the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board to uphold their commitment to the responsibility of ensuring “the proper use and management of these toxic chemicals.”

The stakeholder consultation is, but one of the many activities organized to observe Pesticides Awareness Week, all directed toward educating and updating the public on the prudent use of pesticides and underlining their potential impact on health and the environment.

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