Pest and Pesticide Management

FAO collaborates with University of Cape Town to train the pesticide risk managers of tomorrow


The University of Cape Town (UCT) is one of the many academic institutions that collaborate with FAO, which helped design its Postgraduate Diploma in Pesticide Risk Management (DPRM).

Offered by UCT since 2011, the DPRM provides students with an interdisciplinary approach to pesticide risk management and reduction, with in-kind teaching support from FAO staff.

This collaboration has proven to be an efficient way to raise awareness and build capacity on pesticide norms, tools and International regulations. It has also fostered strong networks, which have proven strategic to the implementation of field projects over the years.

The two-year, online flexible learning programme trains students to manage, regulate and reduce pesticide risks through a life-cycle approach, and is structured around the FAO/WHO International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management. 

It is aimed primarily at pesticide regulators, inspectors (e.g.,   health, labour, customs and environment), public health pest control managers, disposal and waste management managers, academics, researchers, NGO and United Nations staff, and others working in the field of pesticide and chemicals management. 

To date, 11 cohorts and 100 students have successfully completed the DPRM.

As has been the practice since 2011, FAO staff provided teaching for the 2022/23 cohort, sharing its great wealth of experience from its normative and field work.

The DPRM is the foundational course for the online Professional Masters in Chemical Risk Management (MCRM) programme, which the UCT launched in 2021. The curriculum includes courses on Pesticide Risk Management, International Chemical Management Agreements, Pesticide Health and Safety Management, Policy Brief and Risk Communication Development, and Chemicals Risk Assessment for Managers, to name a few.

The 2022/23 DPRM/MCRM class comprises 18 students from seven countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Netherlands, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe). They have successfully completed the first two weeks of the programme, and are ready to embark on the full coursework. We wish the students a successful learning journey on their way to becoming sound pesticide risk managers.