New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Agriculture Ministry Torn Over DDT Use

Kampala — The use of DDT to control malaria yesterday resurfaced in parliament, with agriculture minister Janat Mukwaya saying the country was in a dilemma on whether to lose the international market for agro-products or avoid the pesticide and continue losing lives.

Mukwaya said whereas agriculturalists, especially those dealing in flowers and vegetables, were against DDT to maintain an international market, Ugandans continued to die from malaria, a situation that could be averted if DDT was applied.

She added, "Even if we do not use DDT, Uganda might lose the international market to China as our people continue to die from malaria."

Mukwaya was appearing before the parliamentary committee on agriculture to table The control of agricultural chemicals bill and the Plant protection and health Bill.

Mukwaya's reaction followed John Odit (Erute), the committee chairman's demand for an explanation on whether the ministry was consulted on DDT and its effect on the agricultural sector.

Komayombi Bulegeya, the commissioner for crop protection, said, "In agriculture, DDT is bad because it is persistent and toxic. It is magnified in the food chain and its concentration is highest in man who eats the food."

He, however, said DDT was cheap and effective and that losing lives to malaria meant loss of labour for agriculture.

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