SEATINI, CEFROHT and FRA Call On Government to Ban Glyphosate-Based Herbicides
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including SEATINI, the Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT) and Food Rights Alliance (FRA) have called on the government to ban use of glyphosates and Glyphosate-Based Herbicides (GBHs) as this threatens the right to adequate food, a clean and healthy environment, health, and the right to life.
CSOs made this call on Thursday 25th March 2021 during the stakeholders’ dialogue that was organized to discuss the recently announced intention by the Government of Uganda to ban the use of glyphosates in agriculture system and to suggest possible alternatives to Glyphosate chemicals.
CEFROHT and SEATINI in February 2020 filed a case against the government holding it accountable for failing to ban the use of glyphosates and Glyphosate-Based Herbicides. The government was sued for failing to regulate and control agro-chemical use.
Prof. Charles Ssekyewa, the Chairperson of the East African Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative noted that there has been a global call for the ban of Glyphosate and Glyphosate-Based Herbicides to protect human rights like the right to health.
‘‘Several countries are implementing the ban, however Uganda is having challenges in regards to regulating the use of Glyphosate Based Herbicides,’’ said Prof. Ssekyewa.
Prof. Ssekyewa also added that pests and weeds can be controlled biologically through mulching, use of cover crops, high density planting, concentrated animal urine, fire flames to burn off weeds which is common in west Africa, zero tillage, scotch application of composite when planting maize, and artificially through using black polythene cover.
Jane Nalunga, the Executive Director at SEATINI Uganda emphasized that with the unregulated use of glyphosates in Uganda, several Ugandan products are rejected in various markets for failure to comply with Sanitary and Phytosanitary standards which has brought losses to farmers.
Agnes Kirabo, the Executive Director at Food Rights Alliance observed that there is a knowledge gap between experts and the farmers on alternatives for glyphosates.
‘‘In Uganda, there have been several challenges with implementation of the laws and regulations as regards the buying, use, storage, transportation, handling use of glyphosates leading to impunity in adherence to the available legal framework,’’ said Mr. David Kabanda, Executive Director, CEFROHT Uganda.
As part of the way forward, SEATINI, CEFROHT and FRA resolved to continue engaging the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF) and specifically the Crops Inspection Department fast-track government’s move to ban Glyphosates and Glyphosate agro-chemicals on Ugandan market.