Parliament directs MoFA to issue disclaimer on fake cocoa insecticide

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Ocquaye
Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Ocquaye

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Michael Aaron Oquaye, has directed the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to issue a disclaimer on a fake cocoa insecticide in circulation.

He again asked the ministry to liaise with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to impress on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw the China-manufactured Rockstar insecticide from the market.

The Speaker gave the order on Friday, May 18 in response to a question posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Juaboso, Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, to the Minister for Food and Agriculture as to whether the Ministry was aware that one litre Rockstar, which was not yet approved for sale by the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, was already being sold on the market.

He said the original Rockstar insecticide was manufactured in India and came in 30 milli litres containers.

However, Mr Akandoh said the fake Rockstar in circulation was manufactured in China by a different manufacturer and came in one litre.


Mr Akandoh, therefore, wanted to know the steps being taken by the ministry to prevent the sale of the insecticide.

Response

Answering the question, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Kennedy Nyarko Osei, said Rockstar (Bifenthrin 2.5EC) was a registered pesticide in Ghana for use in the Agriculture sector, particularly for the control of pest in cocoa.

He said it was originally imported from India by West Africa Commodities Company Limited.

He said it was tested by Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in September, 2016 and listed under provisional clearance (PCL) for commercial purposes.

"This means the license was given for a period of one year and must be renewed
or fully registered thereafter.

According to the EPA, West Africa Commodity Company Limited in 2017 approached them to have Rockstar fully registered. Samples were therefore presented to EPA for testing by CRIG.

"It was discovered what the Rockstar presented this time round came from a Chinese manufacturer and could therefore not be accepted to be the same as the original one from India that had been tested earlier", he said.

Mr Osei said the CRIG through Cocoa Board duly informed the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the EPA who were responsible for the registration and post registration surveillance of such pesticides about the development.

He said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture therefore tasked Cocoa Board to conduct further investigations on the presence of the new Rockstar on the Ghanaian market for action to be taken.

He said the report of the committee would be ready by the end of May, 2018.