The Ministry of Agriculture will soon be embarking on a pilot program, to screen pesticide residue on vegetables and fruits, sold at municipal markets around the country.
As part of the program, the Ministry will use the “Pesticide Test Kit” at its Fiji Agricultural Chemistry Laboratory, based at the Koronivia Research Station, where trial runs are being conducted on it, for pesticide screening.
Acting Director Crop Research – Dr. Apaitia Macanawai said, the laboratory test will conduct qualitative analysis.
Macanawai confirmed the pilot program for pesticide screening, will start in January next year, and they are planning to start pesticide screening on vegetables and fruits from the Sigatoka, Suva and the Nausori municipal markets, and will later move to other municipal markets in other towns on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
Working in close collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. Macanawai said the Ministry of Agriculture’s Research Division, in partnership with IAEA – would begin a pesticide residue project in 2020, for safer food quality standards.
The sale and use of pesticides will continue to be monitored, by the Agriculture Ministry.
The Ministry of Agriculture will also work with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services – on standards and regulations, to confiscate vegetables found to be unsafe.