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Agriculture Ministry must inventory companies importing pesticides, seeds to increase oversight: parliament - Daily News Egypt

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Agriculture Ministry must inventory companies importing pesticides, seeds to increase oversight: parliament

The ministry will focus on companies importing from Jordanian companies which often import genetically-modified seeds from Israeli companies, say sources

The Agriculture Committee in the House of Representatives plans to ask the Ministry of Agriculture to present a list of the companies importing pesticides and seeds, especially those importing from or dealing with Jordanian companies.

Parliamentary sources told Daily News Egypt that the spread of cancer has raised concerns over the use of carcinogenic pesticides.

The ministry will focus on those companies that import pesticides from Jordanian companies because they often import pesticides and genetically modified seeds from Israeli companies, added the sources.

According to these sources, the last period witnessed the spread of many Israeli pesticides and fertilisers across provinces of the Delta.

Compiling an inventory of the companies that are importing pesticides can strengthen the control over the pesticide market in Egypt during the coming period and ensure the health of citizens, undersecretary of the Agriculture Committee Raef Timraz said.

Timraz emphasised that the concern of the agricultural sector should include all the inputs of the sector, including land, water, seeds, and pesticides, to ensure the sector’s high contribution in the Egyptian economy in the coming period.

The role of agriculture in the Egyptian economy has declined from 35% during the 1970s to less than 15% currently, despite expansions in land reclamation processes outside the Delta and the Nile Valley, he added.

Nader Nour, a professor in water resources and irrigation at Cairo University, said that developing the Principal Bank for Development & Agricultural Credit (PBDAC) requires monitoring the import of authorised pesticides, fertilisers, and plant nutrients.

Sources said that demanding that the Agriculture Ministry determine the number of importing companies aims to tighten control over companies that take the law into consideration while carrying out the importing processes. The aim is also to determine the volume of pesticides smuggled into Egypt during the upcoming period with the aggravation of smuggling.


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