Farm Inspectors to Submit Recommendations to Lt. Governor Today

The group of government agencies assigned by Governor Lolo Moliga to inspect farms and check on the use of illegal pesticides and chemicals will be making recommendations on which farms should be allowed to resume supplying the School Lunch program again.

They will also make suggestions on how to stop the entry of unauthorized pesticides.

Acting Director of Agriculture Peter Gurr said they were  alarmed to find two containers full of pesticides at one farm during routine inspections, prior to the suspension.

He says the allowable amount of nitrate fertilizers per acre is 200 lbs but there’s no telling how much was used on this farm.

Another concern is that the nitrate could seep in to the water supply.

KHJ News received reports that the Department of Agriculture was referring customers to a store in Nu’uuli which was selling pesticides with no English labeling, just Korean.

When asked about this, Gurr said this store also imports certified pesticides and fertilizers and that ‘s what they were referring customers to buy.

He said their department is looking into how the store was able to get the foreign labeled chemicals past customs as these are prohibited items.

As of yesterday, the School Lunch Program was still not accepting locally grown vegetables except those from hydroponic farms, as per a memo from the governor and DOA.

Taros and bananas are not affected.

The sale of locally grown vegetables has also been banned except for those grown hydroponically,

Gurr said the departments assigned to inspect farms are to meet with Lt. Governor Lemanu today to give him a report of their findings and recommendations.

He said it’s their intention to okay and clear farms which are in compliance as soon as possible.

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