In Jamaica, the Pesticide Control Authority (PCA) is the governing body mandated through the Pesticides Act of 1975 to carry out the regulation and control of pesticides in Jamaica.
The PCA is a statutory body which reports to a board comprising experts from the field of plant protection, food storage, pesticide chemistry, public health, food chemistry and the pest control industry.
The Ministry of Health has portfolio responsibility for the PCA.
The functions as outlined in the Pesticides Act are to:
License persons to import or manufacture registered pesticides.
Authorise persons to sell restricted pesticides.
Register premises in which a restricted pesticide may be sold.
License pest control operators.
Consider and determine applications made pursuant to this act and to deal with all aspects of the importation, manufacture packaging, preparation for sale, disposal and use of pesticides and to advise the minister on all matters in relation thereto.
Do such other things as may be expedient/necessary for proper performance of its functions under this act.
Pesticides impact on several sectors of the economy. Pesticides have been accepted as an integral part of agricultural production in an effort to increase production, productivity and the appearance of agricultural produce.
The selection of pesticides through registration is critical to reduce the level of toxicity of the residues on the foods entering trade.
The PCA has initiated programmes to manage pesticide use to avoid high levels of pesticides residue that can act as a non-tariff barrier to international trade, considering that any loss of market share is expected to result in loss of employment in rural areas.
Last financial year 2005/20066, PCA registered 89 pesticide products. The authority issued 1,178 permits to import registered pesticides and imported. Approximately 2,700 tonnes of pesticides were imported. Seventeen pest control businesses were licensed and 49 farm stores registered.