The intensification of agricultural production and the effects of climate change have increased the pressure on crops from pests and diseases.

According to recent estimates, annual losses caused by insects, weeds, and diseases are around 20–40 percent, a range similar to levels registered 50 years ago.
Although pesticides play an important role in reducing crop losses, if misused they may have serious negative effects on human health and the environment.
The proper management of pesticides is the focus of a two-day FAO regional training event that started today in Chisinau.
The workshop has gathered more than 20 specialists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan to discuss and analyse the benefits of FAO’s pesticide registration toolkit in order to complement and strengthen the existing national pesticide registration procedures.

The toolkit, developed by FAO and maintained by FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division, supports low- and middle-income countries in the process of pesticide registration. It facilitates informed decision-making and can be used to identify highly hazardous pesticides, assess their risk, and review possible risk mitigation measures.

Regional cooperation is critical in the management, registration and control of pesticides, said Tania Santivanez, FAO agricultural officer.

“Pesticide registration enables authorities to determine which products are permitted to be used and for what purposes,” Santivanez said, “and it also makes possible the control over quality, use levels, claims, labelling, packaging, and advertising of pesticides.”

On the last day of the workshop, under the guidance of FAO experts, the eight countries will develop a working plan for regional collaboration on pesticide management. The goal of the plan is to help promote sustainable agriculture in the region while protecting farmers, consumers and the ecosystem from the adverse effects of pesticides.

FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division promotes the sustainable intensification of crop production. This approach requires the integration and harmonization of all appropriate crop production policies and practices aimed at increasing crop productivity in a sustainable manner, thereby meeting key sustainable development goals aimed at reducing hunger and preserving natural resources and the environment for future use.