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11 November 2022

Cook Islands to monitor pesticide use

Tuesday 4 April 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Environment, National

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Cook Islands to monitor  pesticide use
Agriculture secretary Temarama Anguna-Kamana. 18092836

The Cook Islands Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organisation Office for the Pacific is working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Land Resources Division to implement the activities of a new proposed Pacific Regional Pesticide Registration Scheme.

According to SPC, the scheme is expected to pave the way for monitoring of pesticide use in the region.

Agriculture secretary Temarama Anguna-Kamana said as part of the project, an efficacy test for selected organic products for crop pest management would soon be implemented.

Anguna-Kamana adds the project will also assist with looking into the gaps and issues relating to the current pesticide legislation and the way forward.

“The scheme will assist Cook Islands to address the adverse effects of pesticides on the users, fragile ecosystem and the consumers – pesticide use in agriculture,” she said.

“The scheme will provide the necessary capacity and infrastructure to assist the Cook Islands in the management of pesticides through a more robust registration process, evaluation of pesticides for residues and efficacy and the selection of pesticides.

“Organic and safer options for pest management will be promoted.”

Anguna-Kamana said in the past eight years, the ministry had been active in the promotion of organic pesticides such as the mineral and neem oils and Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk) for management of many insect pests in fruits, vegetables and root crops.

She said many commercial and subsistence farmers were using these products after realising the high level of efficacy of such organic options.

“The scheme is designed to assist farmers and importers to make better informed decisions for pest management options with the minimal impact on the environment and human health.”

Meanwhile, Cook Islands, Kiribati and Solomon Islands have signed a memorandum of understanding with SPC under the scheme.