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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Transport of obsolete pesticides away from Moldova now in full swing

The first convoys carrying 400 tonnes of obsolete pesticides from a site in Criuleni are leaving Moldova this week, headed for environmentally safe disposal in Poland. The Pașcani site in Criuleni is expected to be obsolete pesticide-free by the end of August.

The operation to safeguard and dispose of obsolete pesticides stored at Pascani started in May 2015, as part of a European Union-financed project, “Improved pesticides and chemicals management in the Former Soviet Union.” Implemented by FAO, the project covers Moldova and nine other countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), reducing environmental and human health risks and promoting sustainable agriculture.

"We are glad to be getting closer and closer to solving the problem of waste from past agriculture,” said Tudor Robu, Assistant FAO Representative to Moldova. “We are removing deposits of pesticides and, most importantly, helping farmers identify the least hazardous ways of developing agriculture, using only very small amounts of pesticides."

During the Soviet era, pesticides were frequently over-used and often mismanaged in an attempt to increase food production. The remnants of this can be seen in many countries of the former Soviet Union. While pesticides continue to be used to support agricultural production today, obsolete and banned pesticides pose a significant threat to people’s health and the environment.

The Republic of Moldova was one of the first countries to sign the project agreement with FAO, in 2012. Over the past decade, it has made significant efforts to eliminate obsolete stocks from across the country.

The EU-funded project is implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, Ministry of Environment, civil society organizations (both nation and international), and with international partners and experts. It includes also actions to increase awareness of the potential harm obsolete pesticides can cause to health and the environment.

6 July 2016, Chisinau, Moldova

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