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HYDERABAD: Agriculture experts and FAO have expressed their concern over child labour in the agriculture sector and the adverse effects on pregnant women and infants due to the indiscriminate use of pesticides.

At the inaugural ceremony of the ‘Validation workshop on pesticide's visual tools guidelines,’ organized by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) at Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam, Vice Chancellor Dr Fateh Marri said the adverse effects of pesticides have seriously affected the health of women, children, and pregnant women working as the agricultural labour force.

The VC said agricultural medicines are being marketed by non-agricultural and less educated business people, who are creating dangers for agriculture, the environment, nature, and living beings with poor suggestions of pesticides. "Registration or membership of the Pakistan Engineering Council is mandatory for the construction sector, and a degree in Pharmacy for human medical raps, thus agricultural graduate degree should be made mandatory for the agricultural and pesticides business," he added.

Shakeel Khan, National Coordinator, FMM, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said a visual guide is being prepared in the Sindhi language for the farmers of Sindh on the use of pesticides, child labour, and effects of pesticides on women and children, and preventive measures.

He said there are 160 million children working in child labour in the world, in which 70 percent of the children are involved in the agricultural sector, so there is a large number of children exposed to pesticides, he said in 1990, FAO exposed the impact of agricultural pesticides on children and child labour issues in the agricultural sector.

Dr Jan Muhammad Marri, Pro-Vice Chancellor, SAU Sub-Campus, Umerkot, said that excessive use of pesticides also has a big impact on climate change, and all institutions should take strict and urgent measures in this regard,

A large number of delegates from WWF, International Labour Organization (ILO), Nuclear Institute of Agriculture (NIA), Agricultural Research Sindh (ARS), Private Sector, Collective for Social Science Research, and other institutions, teachers, and students participated, and a group discussion session was also held on this occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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