Phytosanitary regulations in Niger

The intensification of agriculture necessary to ensure food and nutritional security has led to the increased use of chemical inputs such as pesticides. Given the porosity of our borders, chemical products such as pesticides are imported in our country very often in an uncontrolled way. In order to ensure that the pesticides used in Niger are appropriate, effective, of and do not pose unacceptable risks to man and the environment, the Niger government has ratified or signed several international conventions and treaties. More recently, it has elaborated a law on plant protection in Mai 2015.

Institutional and Legislative Framework for Pest and Pesticide Management in Niger

Niger has ratified or signed a number of international legal instruments relating to the management of pests and pesticides and environmental protection. Some of the conventions are of direct relevance to pest and pesticide management, plant protection and pollution control.

International Conventions

Niger has ratified or signed several international legal instruments relating to the management of pests and pesticides. These include the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC); the Inter-African Phytosanitary Convention of the African Union (IPC / AU); the Bamako Convention on Hazardous Wastes; the Protocol on cooperation in the fight against pollution in times of emergency; the International Code of Conduct and for the Distribution and Use of Pesticides; the Code of Ethics on International Trade of Chemicals; the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides of FAO; the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) of the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP); the FAO International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs); The London Guidelines on the Exchange of Information on Chemicals in International Trade UNEP/GC/17; the International Sanitary Regulations. There is also:

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which aims to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants such as aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane, endrin, heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene, mirex, toxaphene, DDT and PCBs. This convention was ratified in 2006 by the State of Niger.

The Rotterdam Convention on the Principle of Information and Prior Informed Consent ratified in 2006, which provides a possibility for a country to decide which hazardous chemicals or pesticides they wish to receive and to refuse those they are not able to manage safely.

The Basel Convention, ratified in 1998, on the control of trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal.

Subregional regulations

At the subregional level, there are 3 main legislative frameworks on the management of pests and pesticides that concern Niger. These include:

  • The Resolution 8/34/CM/99, which is the common regulation for the registration of pesticides in CILSS (the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel) member States which is signed in 1999 by 9 member states, during the 34th session of the CILSS cabinet meeting of Ministers;
  • The Regulation C/REG.3/08/2008 on the harmonization of the rules governing the registration of pesticides in the ECOWAS area. This regulation was adopted at the 60th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS cabinet meeting of Ministers held in Abuja on 17th and 18th of May 2008. This legislative framework sets out the rules governing the approval of pesticides in the ECOWAS area;
  • The Regulation No. 04/2009/CM/WAEMU on the harmonization of the rules governing the registration, marketing and control of pesticides within the WAEMU area. This regulation was adopted on March 6, 2009 in Ouagadougou, during the cabinet meeting of Ministers of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), on a proposal from the Commission and following the opinion given by experts of the Statutory Committee. This regulation is very similar to that adopted by ECOWAS.

Legislative framework in Niger

The Constitution of November 25, 2010 is the major benchmark for the rights and duties of human personality and for the elaboration of economic, social and cultural development policies.

Article 12 states that: « Everyone has the right to life, health, physical and moral integrity, adequate and safe food, safe drinking water, education and training under the conditions set by the law. The state ensures to every citizen the satisfaction of basic and essential need as well as their fulfillment. Every individual has the right to freedom and security in accordance with the conditions set by law« .

In Article 146 it is stated that: « State action in economic and social development policies is supported by a strategic vision. The State makes the creation of wealth, growth and the fight against inequalities a major focus of its intervention. Public policies must promote food sovereignty, sustainable development, access to social services for all and the improvement of the quality of life« .

Regulatory framework in Niger

In order to implement the constitutional provisions on the management of pesticides and pests, the State of Niger has adopted a number of laws and regulations (Laws, Decrees and Orders) on plant protection and the environment and the protection of human health. These include:

The purpose of Law No. 2015-35 is:

  • the protection of plants and plant products through pest control and prevention with respect to the environment;
  • the promotion of integrated crop protection against pests for the sustainable development of national crops;
  • the implementation of a national policy for the management of pesticides including, controls on the import, manufacturing, registration, post-registration monitoring, use, storage and disposal of products for the preservation of human, animal and environmental health;
  • the promotion of the sanitary quality of our plants and plant products for export.

A National Pesticide Management Committee (CNGP) is established through this law and in accordance with the above sub-regional regulations. This law does not infringe the common regulations that Niger has subscribed to. It stipulates that the registration of pesticides shall be carried out in accordance with the common regulations to the Member States of CILSS and very soon of those of ECOWAS, on the registration of pesticides. The institutions responsible for Community-wide certification are the CSP (Sahelian Pesticides Committee) for the CILSS zone and the COHAP (West African Pesticide Registration Committee) for the ECOWAS.

Currently the CSP is functional. The Committee examines applications for approval, maintains registry of approval, establishes list of approved active substances and authorized formulations and lists the public institutions authorized to carry out tests. It also defines the methods for monitoring the composition, quality and evaluation of the products examined, assesses the risks of toxicity of products to humans, animals and the environment.

The decree implementing this law No. 2015-35 provided for a list of at least 18 decrees.

Institutions responsible for the crops protection in Niger

In Niger, the Ministry in charge of Agriculture is responsible for developing and implementing government policy in the field of Agriculture and Rural Development.

To ensure that the pesticides used in Niger are of good quality and do not pose a potential risk to humans and the environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, through the Directorate General of Plant Protection (DGPV) and in collaboration with other relevant departments in other ministries, is responsible for:

  • phytosanitary protection around the national territory;
  • management of pesticides;
  • control over the import, export, re-export and transit of plants and plant products around the national territory.

General Management for the Plants Protection

There exists in Niger, a public establishment created since 1967 under the name of Plant Protection Service, which is responsible for facing phytosanitary challenges. This service changed its name in 1985 and was called the Plant Protection Branch. Today, the competent authority for crop protection is the General Management of Plant Protection (DGPV), created by Decree No. 2010-664 / PCSRD / MAG / EL of 17 September 2010, on the organization of the General Management And the National Directorates of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

Objectives of the DGPV

The objective of the DGPV is to « promote an ecologically sustainable defense strategy ensuring the application of national and international phytosanitary legislation and other regulatory texts to ensure better plant health control of plants and plant products ».

The DGPV comprises four national directorates:

  • the Directorate of Phytosanitary Interventions and Training;
  • the Directorate of Phytosanitary Regulation and Environmental Monitoring;
  • the Directorate of Biological Studies;
  • the Directorate of Logistics and Phytosanitary Facilities.

Within the country, DGPV activities are carried out by 8 Regional Plant Protection Services (SRVP), 24 Plant Protection Antennas (APVs) distributed in the departments, around 34 Phytosanitary Control Posts (PCPs) along borders.

Mission of the DGPV

The main mission of the DGPV is the design and implementation of the national plant protection policy.

To this end, it shall be responsible in particular for:

  • ensure phytosanitary protection throughout the territory;
  • participate in the elaboration, in conjunction with the management and the specialized agencies concerned, of the laws and regulatory texts relating to phytosanitary measures;
  • ensure the regular programming and monitoring of phytosanitary campaigns in relation to the directorates concerned;
  • develop, in relation to the national, regional and international structures concerned, the strategies for the promotion of alternative control.

The DGPV has a body that manages pesticides throughout the country.

In accordance with the requirements of the common regulations, in particular Regulation C / REG.3 / 08/2008 harmonizing the rules governing the registration of pesticides in ECOWAS, Regulation No. 04/2009 / CM / WAEMU, Harmonization of the rules governing the registration, marketing and control of pesticides in WAEMU and Resolution No. 8/34 / CM / 99 on the registration of pesticides in the CILSS member States, exists in Niger, the National Pesticide Management Committee (CNGP), which is the body responsible for regulating the use of pesticides.

Attribution of the National Pesticides Management Committee (CNGP)

The CNGP assists the Minister of Agriculture in the application of the principles and general direction of pesticide regulation. In this capacity, he is responsible for:

  • monitoring the list of authorized, restricted or prohibited pesticides;
  • propose measures likely to contribute to the standardization, definition and establishment of conditions and procedures for the use of pesticides;
  • ensure the permanent control of the quality of pesticides distributed in Niger;
  • give its opinion on all matters relating to pesticides submitted to it;
  • ensure the implementation of the national obligations provided for in ECOWAS Regulation C / REG.3 / 08/2008;
  • follow-up registration of pesticides.

The CNGP is the body responsible for the control and plant protection and plant products, the management of pests and pesticides and the registration of pesticides in Niger. It holds the register of approvals and authorizations of pesticides that are authorized for the crops protection  in Niger.

Perspectives on pesticide management in Niger

Although several legislative and regulatory texts have been developed concerning the management, use, approval and control of phytosanitary products in Niger, unfortunately, these documents are very poorly disseminated and little known to the public. This phenomenon results in the circulation of certain products containing the active ingredients in issue. Various actions are being taken to control the import and use of pesticides containing dangerous active ingredients. However, the regulatory framework, although very extensive, suffers from a lack of framing in particular the definition of management conditions at the level of the whole chain (primary storage, transport, secondary storage, use, disposal of containers).

It should be noted that the Nigerien legislative and institutional framework regarding pests and pesticides regulation is in his initial stage. However, Niger relies on the CILSS regulation on the Common Regulation to the CILSS Member States on the Registration of Pesticides. The CSP, based in Bamako, Mali, is the backbone of the Common Regulation. In practice it replaces national approvals. It is a very important instrument in the national and concerted management of pesticides. Pesticides officially authorized in the country are those which have obtained the Provisional Authorization for Sale or the approval of the CSP.

Niger is one of the few countries that does not have a pesticide packaging or reconditioning unit in the ECOWAS region. The porosity of the border means that pesticides of any kind enter the territory without control. It is important that the State of Niger make every effort to apply the texts in this sector to protect the population and the environment from the dangers of the use of pesticides.

Selected References

CEDEAO, 2008. Règlement C/Reg. 03/05/2008 du 18 mai 2008 portant harmonisation des règles régissant l’homologation des pesticides dans l’espace CEDEAO. Journal officiel de mai 2008 de la CEDEAO, 53, 3-13.

CILSS, 1999. Résolution n°8/34/CM/99 du 16 décembre 1999 portant Règlementation commune aux Etats membres du CILSS sur l’homologation des pesticides Version révisée Décembre 1999.

Diarra, A., 2015. Revue des politiques sur les pesticides et les produits vétérinaires dans l’espace CEDEAO. USAID/WA, N° West Africa-JSR-2015-2.

Ministère de l’Agriculture, 2015. Loi n°2015-35du 26 mai 2015 relative à la protection des végétaux.

Ministère de l’Agriculture, 2016. Décret n° 2016-303/PRN/MAG/EL du 29 juin 2016 portant modalités d’application de la loi 2015-35 relative à la protection des végétaux.

PPAAO, 2013. Cadre de gestion de l’environnement et sociale (CGES). Rapport provisoire, PPAAO-Niger.

UEMOA, 2009. Règlement n°04/2009/CM/UEMOA du 6 mars 2009 relatif a l’harmonisation des regles regissant l’homologation, la commercialisation et le contrôle des pesticides au sein de l’UEMOA.

Read Niger’s phytosanitary regulations in French

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