|dc.description||A workshop held at the offices of the Institute of Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture (IRETA) at Alafua Campus, Samoa, from 7-11 September 1998 was attended by over 50 participants from the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. The objectives of the workshop were to review the situation of pesticide usage in countries of the region, to expose all participants to quality training in handling and safe use of pesticides, and to discuss ways of adapting and improving training in pesticide management at the national and regional level.
Participants came from diverse backgrounds: agricultural research, extension, school teaching, health services and the private sector. The pesticide situation in a number of countries of the South Pacific including Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu, Samoa, Vanuatu, Palau, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands was discussed. Some of the issues highlighted were: absence of technical information on pesticide storage and disposal, re-use of empty containers, lack of linkages between people who have to deal with pesticides, pesticide stockpiles, and the limited resources available for national level training.
Participants then took part in two training courses. The Farm Chemicals Training Course exposed participants to training in the proper and safe handling of pesticides. Subjects covered included farm chemical formulations, understanding pesticide labels, toxicity, health and first aid, safe use of farm chemicals and environmental concerns. The second course, Principles of Pest Management, examined how pesticides can be an effective component of IPM.
The workshop concluded by drawing up a broad range of recommendations, among which were the following needs: improved national-level training, improved availability of training material in the region and encouragement of the private sector to become involved in training. Efforts are currently underway at IRETA/USP to develop a certificate course in pesticide management. Such a course should help to alleviate regional problems associated with pesticide management and go a long way towards addressing a number of issues recognised in the workshop.
Dr Danny Hunter
The University of the South Pacific
Fax: + 685 22933