Brazil regional govt to monitor agchem residues
A Brazilian regional Agriculture Ministry is to monitor pesticide residues in tomatoes and strawberries from March to December this year. The Minas Gerais state Ministry, the IMA, has launched its programme aiming to “provoke change in the behaviour of farmers” towards a “more rational” application of pesticides. It will focus on farms with the larger acreages in the chosen crops. Monitors will check samples monthly and survey farmers on their knowledge of rules covering the safe use of pesticides. Minas Gerais is the largest producer of strawberries in Brazil with an area covering 1,614 ha, and one of the major tomato-growing states (8,000 ha). The IMA inspected 4,684 establishments and over 7,000 farms in 2008 on their pesticide use, and opened 391 legal cases for breach of state legislation.