Manejo integrado de plagas y plaguicidas

La FAO apoya la reducción del uso de plaguicidas y de los riesgos apoyando a los gobiernos en la regulación de los plaguicidas a los que pueden acceder los agricultores, y reforzando los sistemas de inspección, control y los marcos normativos para evaluar, prohibir o desalentar el uso de los plaguicidas más tóxicos.

Pesticides are any substance or mixture of substances made up of chemical or biological ingredients and intended to repel, destroy or control pests, or to regulate plant growth

Pests are a major cause of crop yield losses. FAO estimates that plant pests and diseases account for the reduction of between 20 and 40 percent of global crop yields per year. Crop losses contribute to food insecurity, which continues to grow with increasing population numbers in the face of climate challenges. Recent research strongly indicates that crop yields may decrease due to climate change and variable weather patterns. Climate change is also likely to make plant pests more damaging to crops in intensity, distribution and spread.

Inappropriate use of pesticides may lead to increased risks to human health and the environment

Pesticides have been one of the main tools used for pest management worldwide. Today, global pesticide consumption is more than four million tonnes per year (FAOSTAT, 2019). More than 1 000 pesticides are currently available on the market (including chemical, microbial, semi-chemical and botanical ones).

Agricultural communities worldwide are routinely exposed to pesticides. On the consumer side, pesticide contamination is one of the top food safety concerns in the fresh food chain. Pesticides can also persist in the environment for decades and pose a global threat to the entire ecological system upon which food production depends.

Reduced reliance on pesticides is an important part of FAO’s commitment to sustainable crop production, intensification and diversification

FAO’s vision for sustainable food and agriculture is that food should be safe, nutritious and accessible to everyone and that natural resources should be managed in a way that maintains ecosystem functions to support current and future human needs. Controlling pests and promoting sustainable agriculture by 2030 are crucial to achieving a number of Sustainable Development Goals.

FAO addresses pesticide management in a holistic manner

The International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management developed by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) considers all the regulatory and technical measures required in the lifecyle of pesticides to ensure their safety and efficacy, with no adverse effects on health and the environment. The FAO Pesticide Registration Toolkit helps countries make informed decisions about the products entering their markets.

FAO promotes less hazardous, alternative approaches to synthetic chemical pesticides and encourages developing countries to prioritize the identification of highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs).

FAO also promotes Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for sustainable crop protection. FAO IPM programmes have demonstrated that it is possible to lower pesticide use significantly without reducing crop yield or farmers’ profits, even in areas with increased pest pressure. So far, about 10 million farmers have been trained on IPM procedures through FAO and regional Farmer Field Schools in more than 95 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Eastern Europe.