The question was whether glyphosate is banned or not in Togo? Mr. TAGBA’s answer was very clear.
"In Togo, unlicensed Glyphosate is banned like all the other pesticides unregistered. Normally, glyphosate is not banned in Togo," he told agridigitale.
It all started from a press release from the ministry in charge of agriculture which was seemingly misunderstood.
"In order to preserve not only the environment, but also human and animal health, it is strictly forbidden for farmers to import and market unregistered pesticides, including Glyphosate throughout the country according to the law number 96-007 / PR of 03 July 1996 on the protection of plants ", stated the government in substance.
A ban ignored by the main actors.
"I know Glyphosate very well. In my field, I use it before and after sowing, but it does not cause any problem on the yield except on beets that do not support it," said a market gardener met in the port area nearby refinery.
Like him, other producers met are not aware of the controversy around the product and appreciate the virtues of glyphosate.
As for distributors, it is total panic
Out of five shops identified in the port area, only one has admitted that he distributes Glyphosate.
"It seems that there are researchers who have found that it contains some molecules that would not be good for human health, so the government is trying to remove it," says a distributor.
The other distributors took us for investigators for the purpose of denouncing them to the State.
They were simply afraid of being arrested and said they stopped selling the product since the press release of the government.
To check this fear of being arrested, some market gardeners were later sent to the same shop and came back with the herbicide.
A panic that has no reason to be according to Mr. Tagba who thinks that people have simply misunderstood the official statement.
A controversial subject
Globally, this product of the American giant Mosanto, the most used herbicide in the world unleashes all passions. First of all, those who campaign for its prohibition and then those who are in favor of keeping it on the market.
"It is true that it is subject of a controversy but, it would be necessary that the science can clearly clarify what is the level of danger that it can present", comments Dr Kossi KPEMOUA of Togolese institute of agronomic research (ITRA).
He gives the example of France who gave itself up to 3 years to understand the subject before deciding whether or not to withdraw it.
"So, for the moment we use it," he says before adding that "Togo is intensifying researches on the controversial herbicide and opinion will soon be based on the results of his research."
Togolese government also plans in the coming days to further inform the national opinion on the issue of the use of glyphosate whose debate is far from over.
Meanwhile, Togolese producers can continue using it.