The Ministry of Agriculture (Minagri) has urged dealers in agrochemicals to act professionally so as to boost output in a sector that employs about 80 percent of the population.
This was during a consultative workshop on Ministerial Instructions regarding regulation and control of agrochemicals, early this week.
The Ministerial Instructions want key handlers of agrochemicals such as importers, re-exporters, retailers and distributors to be professionals in the field.
The regulatory framework aims at building professionalism within the sector and stakeholders as well as guaranteeing that only quality agrochemicals enter the country to increase productivity, increase farmers’ income and ensure food security.
At the workshop, some dealers claimed that the instructions tend to exclude them. Those excluded, it was noted, include those with no agriculture background as some instructions oblige dealers to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in agronomy, chemistry with a bias in agrochemicals as a requirement for the application to register an agrochemical business.
The Director of Planning in Minagri, Raphael Rurangwa, said that the law was established in order to achieve adequate and safe production. There is a need for professionalization in agriculture, Rurangwa said.
Rwanda, he said, has small arable land which is also exhausted as a result of over cultivation and needs to be safeguarded by involving professional farmers and agro dealers.
The use of agrochemicals must be taken into consideration by the concerned institutions and other stakeholder since their misuse affects negatively people’s health, the environment and the national development as well.
In order to produce enough quality food, it was observed, it was necessary to establish laws which, among others, determine guidelines for the control of agrochemicals, and agro dealers, hence the present Ministerial Instructions, Rurangwa said.