Pest and Pesticide Management

Promoting Sound Lifecycle Management of Pesticides in Bangladesh


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) takes a comprehensive approach to pesticide management and actively assists countries in implementing best practices through various field projects on sound pesticide management. In line with this strategy, FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) extended an invitation to Bangladeshi officials for the training workshop on the Lifecycle Management of Pesticides at its headquarters in Rome, Italy.

The workshop covered a wide range of topics of lifecycle of pesticide management, including sustainable plant production and protection; pesticide legislation; policy development and regulatory framework; registration; compliance and law enforcement; Rotterdam Convention; Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs); and sustainable pesticides waste management.
Chikelu Mba, Deputy Director of the Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) at FAO, said: “Sustainable pesticide management and especially risk reduction is a key component for contributing to sustainable plant production and protection through optimization and minimization, as well as sustainable technology innovation and transformation.” He also added that “Sound pesticide management throughout product life cycle increases agricultural productivity, ensures food safety, reduces the impact of vector-borne diseases and minimizes adverse effects on human health and the environment, thus contributing to a better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

The workshop targeted professionals from various departments within the relevant Ministries of Bangladesh. Their roles span areas such as environmental protection, agriculture, fisheries, and public health. The aim was to empower these professionals to play an active role in enforcing legislation and conducting official controls related to pesticides, hazardous waste management, pesticide poisoning, and emergency response in cases of public health and climate crises.

Baogen Gu, Senior Agricultural Officer (NSP), FAO HQ, said "supporting member countries is FAO's obligation, and addressing emergencies and challenges with members is our priority. We would like to continue working with you on addressing the issues identified for the lifecycle management roadmap in Bangladesh".
Saso Martinov, Senior Technical Advisor at FAO Bangladesh, emphasized the workshop's importance as it is the first time FAO is hosting a training workshop on the Lifecycle Management of Pesticides at its headquarters. “It is a significant initiative, especially with participants from various sectors in Bangladesh, including the Department of Environment, Department of Agricultural Extension, academia, and FAO itself. Collaborative efforts like this can substantially impact pesticide management practices in Bangladesh.”

Farid Ahmed, National Project Director, Department of Environment in Bangladesh, said: “This was a 5-day intensive and comprehensive event with nine sessions and 17 speakers where we gathered knowledge, expanded our understanding, and provided valuable insights into pesticide management to steer our work and provide further directions for Bangladesh in this area, covering all aspects of pesticide lifecycle management.”

The discussions at the workshop underscored the importance of regulatory measures, sustainable agricultural practices, and collaborative efforts in addressing the challenges associated with HHPs and pesticide management in Bangladesh. Based on the discussions and follow-up actions, a post-training lesson learned workshop will be organized to formulate a stakeholder-wise action plan.

Historically, pesticides have been extensively used in Bangladesh for crops such as rice, sugarcane, cotton, and vegetables. However, this has led to several concerning issues, including increased insect resistance to pesticides, environmental pollution, degradation of biodiversity, and food contamination, and then impacts sustainable development of agriculture. Recognizing these challenges, the Government of Bangladesh has been taking steps to regulate and reduce pesticide risks, with a focus on ensuring food safety and disposal of hazardous wastes to safeguard people and the environment.

FAO has stepped in to provide support, fostering an innovative approach and concrete actions to address pesticide management challenges in the country through the above-mentioned project. FAO and Bangladesh will continue to work together to reduce the risks of pesticides and support Bangladesh to transfer to more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, nutrition, environment, and life.  

The training program was organized in conjunction with a GEF-funded project, Pesticide Risk Reduction in Bangladesh. The project started in 2021 and achieved historical results in Bangladesh and took steps in sustainable agricultural development and effective environmental management. A historical achievement was done through eliminating 525 tonnes of DDT which was the last remains of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). This massive operation finally enabled Bangladesh to fulfil its obligation as a signatory of the Stockholm Convention. As a direct result of this one of-a-kind disposal which the country has never done before, Bangladesh is now DDT free since January 2023. Short video of the DDT disposal operation can be found here.