To enhance sustainable agricultural production in the country, there should be a safe and sound pesticide life cycle. To this end, RAISE-FS conducted a consultative workshop on the pesticide life cycle in Ethiopia. The objective of the workshop was to jointly identify the challenges, opportunities and jointly propose course of action and share responsibilities.

The workshop was started by Dr. Mulugeta Diro, the deputy project manager of the RAISE-FS project, who also provided a brief overview of SWR Ethiopia. After that, Ato Dejene Abesha, RED&FS Secretariat Coordinator, MoA, made the opening remarks. Overview of pesticide life cycle in Ethiopia was presented by Dr. Irene Koomen from WUR.

The use and misuse of pesticides is a common phenomenon in agricultural practices of Ethiopia. This might vary from utilizing the wrong products and dosage, using highly hazardous pesticides, to using counterfeit pesticides and disposing of them improperly.

Adapted from van den Berg et al., 2011

Pesticide registration in Ethiopia is governed by law, and the Agricultural Regulatory Authority is in charge of regulating pesticide use. The Agricultural input and output Marketing System Development Technical Committee (part of the RED&FS Sector Working group) has identified the challenges of the pesticide life cycle namely importation of poor-quality chemicals, local adulteration, misuse by end users, existence of huge amount of expired agro-chemicals and weak and unclear policy in taking measures.

Representatives from public sector, private sector and development partner presented their mandates and activities in the pesticide life cycle, and the opportunities and challenges in pesticide management.

Following the presentation, participants discussed in groups on the seven pillars of the pesticide life cycle; 1) Registration 2) Formulation and import 3) Marketing 4) Transport and storage 5) Use 6) Disposal 7) Human health & environment.

Major challenges to the pesticide life cycle that the groups identified include: a lack of directives and guidelines, a limited supply of active ingredients, access to foreign currency, counterfeits products contraband, a lack of high-quality bulk and satellite storage, limited supplier awareness of pesticide use, a lack of safe means of pesticide transportation, a lack of empty pesticide container management and obsolete pesticide disposal, and a lack of environmental protection. The groups also recommended potential courses of action to tackle those challenges and responsible entities.

Participants consented that every challenge brought up is a true reflection of the pesticide life cycle. They also mentioned that there are several documentations done so far on opportunities and challenges of pesticide. Consensus had been reached to establish a core group that will harmonize the identified challenges with priorities solutions for each pillar. The core group includes representatives from MoA, EAA, FAO, EIAR and SWR.

The closing remark was given by Dr. Irene Koomen. She appreciated the ideas raised by the participants and suggested to prepare a policy issue paper to convince the policymakers. Finally, she thanked the participants for coming and active participation.

The workshop was attended by 23 representatives from the MoA, Ethiopia Agricultural Authority, EIAR, Federal Cooperative Commission, Hawassa University, Standard Authority, Environmental Protection Commission, Adami Tulu pesticides processing share company, Lions International Trading Pvt, Markos Plc Limited Company, EPOSPEA, SNV, World vegetable center, FAO, RED&FS, and SWR Ethiopia.

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