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FAO launches 4-year project in Azerbaijan

06 May 2019 [15:01] - TODAY.AZ
By Azernews

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched its new four-year project in Azerbaijan on pest and pesticides management.

FAO has organized a seminar on this project in Baku, aimed at the establishment of cooperation in the management of pesticide circulation and their neutralization.

The event was co-organized together with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and the Ministry of Health and the Food Safety Agency.

It is estimated that half of the pesticides used in the world are unuseful and most of them exist in the former Soviet Union, especially in Central Asia. Pesticides are widely used in agriculture, especially in cotton industry. However, there are still some deficiencies in legal regulation, management and many other issues.

FAO has launched such a regional project to address these shortcomings. The four-year project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), aims to reduce the potential of pesticides and polluted areas of polluting the environment and to counteract pesticides.

This program covers period of 2016-2020 and costs $10 million.

“We also talk about how crops, pest and pesticides affect small farmers, markets, commerce, and natural resources along with agriculture, plant production and productivity. It affects the overall food system, influencing the availability of healthy foods and obtaining of healthy food,” International expert of FAO Tania Santivanez said while talking about pest and pesticides management.

Santivanez noted that 900,000 tons of pollutants and unusable pesticides in the region should be safely neutralized and contaminated areas should be restored.

Climate change and intensification of agricultural production increase pest and disease rates. According to estimates, annual loss due to the insects, herbs and diseases is 20-40 percent. Pesticides play an important role in reducing product losses. But if not properly used, they can adversely affect human health and the environment.

Santivanez said that the FAO aims to increase alternative solutions and encourage agroecological approaches to certain crops for sustainable agriculture along with the pest management integrated into this project.

It was also noted that a clear roadmap will be prepared for the effective implementation of the project on pest and pesticides management with the participation of various experts from the Azerbaijani government, non-governmental organizations and universities.

Azerbaijan has been a member of FAO since 1995. The organization's office in the country has been operating since 2007. The FAO's Partnership and Liaison Office in Azerbaijan was established in 2015. Azerbaijan and FAO implemented 53 projects in 1995-2018. 

FAO attaches great importance to partnership with the private sector and cooperation with the international community in project implementation. Priority areas for cooperation with Azerbaijan are support of the development of agriculture, improvement of the living conditions of rural residents, as well as support to the Azerbaijani government to carry out reforms in this area.


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