Nigeria: Pesticides found in majority of vegetables

Independent research has revealed a worrying presence of pesticide residue quantities greater than recommended in vegetables eaten in Lagos and surrounding area.

These revelations were the results highlighted by a project conducted by Dr. (Mrs) Vide Adedayo, a University of Lagos executive director, Gender and Environmental Right Initiative (GERI) on pesticide management in urban and peri-urban agricultural communities in Lagos.

Adedayo, who sampled common vegetables in Alapere and Ojo-Barracks, reports that 68% were found to be over the recommended levels.

She stated that the project was set up to ‘bring to the fore the situation analysis of the extent and magnitude farmers perceive and adapt to climate change scenes in order to build the capacity of farmers for a better use of pesticide.’

Professor Olu Odeyemi, microbiologist and environment expert at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), on the backdrop of the just-concluded World Cancer Day, said Nigeria has seen a steep increase in the cases of cancer, some of which are attributable to pesticide residues.

He said some of the effects include birth defects, kidney problems, low sperm count and male sterility, among others.

The problem may not be limited to vegetables as it is thought the pesticides are also getting into water supplies.

He said the government should be testing produce and destroying any that was found to contain over the recommended amounts of pesticide.


Publication date: 2/6/2012

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