New policy to ensure safe food

Train farmers on safe crop cultivation

Published : 22 Dec 2020 07:24 PM | Updated : 23 Dec 2020 01:04 AM

It is good to note that the Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of Bangladesh Agricultural Good Practices Policy, 2020 in order to ensure safe and quality agricultural products by applying good practices in the entire production-to-consumption chain. 

Reportedly, the policy has been introduced to exercise good practices in all stages including breeding, collection, preservation, marketing and consumption. The major objectives of the policy include ensuring sustainable production of the safe and nutritious crops, production of environment-tolerant crops and safety and welfare of the agricultural workers.

We are consuming pesticide residues unknowingly through our daily food intake. The fruits and vegetables grown within the country have been found to contain high amount of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. It needs no mentioning that consumption of such fruits and vegetables leads to long-term health risks.

Farmers must be encouraged to cultivate 

vegetables in an organic way

Experts assert that the amount of pesticide residues found in vegetables, fruits and crops pose serious health risks for human body, especially for the children. Farmers in our country apply various types of pesticides to protect the vegetables and crops from unwanted pests. They, however, do not follow necessary guidelines or safety standards to get rid of the pesticide residues.

Reportedly, one to five million farmers suffers from pesticide poisoning every year and at least 20,000 die from different diseases caused by pesticide residues. It is said that pregnant women and the elderly are at most risk of chemical poisoning which may become life-threatening.

Taking all into consideration, necessary steps should be taken to educate farmers about the negative impact of overusing pesticides on human health and environment. Farmers must be encouraged to cultivate vegetables in an organic way.

Bangladesh needs a new pesticides management law to address issues related to the unsafe use of pesticides.  Last but not least, pragmatic steps should be taken to train farmers on safe vegetable farming.