Legal and policy measures to curtail harmful use of agrichemicals in Nigeria
Authors Jane Ezirigwe
Affiliations: LLB (Hons.) Abuja, LLM (London), MBA (EBS), Doctoral Scholar, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Research Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Source: Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 6 Issue 2, p. 106 – 131
Agricultural chemicals are increasingly used under the perception that they are fundamental to achieving maximum crop yields and reducing output shrinkage. Today, far more antibiotics are consumed by animals than by humans, the vast majority for growth promotion and disease prevention; as substitutes for nutrition and hygiene. Chemical preservatives are used to improve the quality of farm produce. Current scientific research indicates that the misuse of agrichemicals negatively impacts human health and the environment, raising questions regarding the negative effects of unregulated agrichemical use on the health of the producers and consumers. This paper adopts an evaluative approach to scrutinise the existing legal and regulatory frameworks on agrichemical use in Nigeria. Its aim is to determine the adequacy of the legal and regulatory frameworks. It finds that the indiscriminate use of agrichemicals by Nigerian farmers and traders of agricultural products result from the absence of adequate laws, a regulatory failure, and ignorance on the part of the farming and consuming communities. It makes recommendations on policy options that can be used to reduce the use and misuse of agrichemicals, without the time consuming legislative and administrative amendments. This will help to promote the health of Nigerian farmers, consumers and their African counterparts.