NSP - The FAO Programme

The FAO Programme on the Prevention and Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides

Since 1994, the FAO Programme on the Prevention and Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides has been sounding the alarm about the existence and the dangers of obsolete pesticide stocks. It works with developing countries, donor agencies and industry to deal with this environmental and public health emergency.

Assisting developing countries take control

The Programme makes developing countries aware of the hazards associated with obsolete pesticides stockpiles and what they can do about them. One of the ways it does this is by organizing national and regional workshops on the issue.

International assistance is usually needed to dispose of obsolete pesticide stockpiles. However, there is a lot that individual countries can do to prevent the accumulation of obsolete pesticides and minimize the environmental and public health hazards posed by these stockpiles. By taking a leadership role in the disposal process, developing countries can reduce costs and significantly increase their prospects for international financial assistance.

Countries have been cooperating with the Programme in drawing up a global inventory on obsolete pesticide stockpiles. In turn, the Programme has been providing the resources they need to assess their existing stockpiles, manage them effectively and ensure that no more accumulate.

An extensive training programme has been developed to assist developing countries to take a detailed inventory of their obsolete pesticide stocks. The FAO Programme has also published guidelines on preventing the accumulation of stocks, as well as manuals on soil contamination assessment, pesticide storage and stock control, and inventory taking. More resources are constantly being prepared and published in the FAO Pesticide Disposal Series.

For a complete list of our publications and other resources, click on 'Resources' or the menu on the left.

Providing the facts and figures

Right from its inception, the Programme has been committed to producing a reasonable indicative inventory of obsolete pesticides stockpiles around the world. The Programme is the leading source of information on the subject.

It can provide the latest data on the amount of stocks, the types of pesticides in the stocks and the reasons why they have accumulated. Through its experience in projects around the world, the Programme has become the foremost authority on the technical, legal and financial aspects of obsolete pesticide disposal.

Implementing projects

When a project has been approved and the necessary funding secured, the Programme will provide technical and legal advice to make sure that the project is carried out effectively.

The Programme can offer training to those working on the project. It can also assist in putting together tenders that will ensure that the proper equipment is procured and selecting reputable consultants and contractors to carry out specific tasks.


The FAO Programme cannot do it's work without donor support.

The Netherlands has been a key supporter in matters relating to obsolete pesticides. It has funded the FAO obsolete pesticides programme since its inception in 1994.

It has also funded several national disposal programmes including those in Ethiopia, Seychelles, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar, Yemen, and Zambia. The Netherlands also funded a detailed inventory of stocks in the United Republic of Tanzania and Pakistan.

Other countries that have funded obsolete pesticide disposal projects in collaboration with FAO are:
      United States of America

Pesticides Inventory Database

The Programme has also created a web-based database tool the Pesticides Stock Management System(PSMS) that developing countries can use to collect and share in a standardized format all the relevant information concerning their pesticide stocks. This tool can automatically generate an environmental risk assessment for each site and establish priorities for action. The PSMS was launched in April 2006 and is now being used in Eritrea, Mali, and Tunisia to store Inventory Data and to conduct environmental risk assessments for Obsolete Pesticide Sites and Stores. For countries where access to internet is limited, a stand-alone version of the PSMS can be made available for deployment. However, limited remote technical support is available for those versions. The standard web-based version is hosted by FAO at its headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Pesticide inventory training course in the Philippines
Mark Davis, programme coordinator and chief technical advisor, gave a pesticide inventory training course in the Philippines. (He's the one in the grey shirt.)