Towards a Non-Toxic Environment in South-East Asia (GCP/RAS/229/SWE)


Small-holder farmers in the Greater Mekong Subregion are exposed to hazardous chemicals as part of daily crop production activities. The need for developing and up-scaling farmer education on integrated pest management and pesticide risk reduction is of utmost importance and urgency. Jointly with such training efforts, there is a need to develop sustainable pest and pesticide management policies, to strengthen the regulatory framework for controlling the distribution and use of pesticides, and to enhance the capacity for implementing these policies and enforcing pesticide legislation.

To reduce smallholder farmer health risks associated with pesticide distribution and use and to harness ecosystem services for sustainable crop production intensification, the Swedish SIDA/Keml supports the FAO to implement a Regional Pesticide Risk Reduction Programme (Project GCP/RAS/229/SWE).


Indiscriminate use of chemical inputs, both fertilizer and pesticides, puts sustainable agricultural production at risk. In particular, overuse of pesticides is known to harm vitally important ecosystem services such as natural biological pest control, pollination and nutrient recycling systems. Furthermore, excessive use of insecticides can result in secondary pest outbreaks. Intensive use of hazardous chemicals by small-holder farmers causes frequent farmer poisonings and chronic health problems. Women and small children in rural communities are also often directly or indirectly exposed to toxic pesticides. Farmers’ income is negatively affected by unnecessary spending on pesticides. In addition, pesticide residues on fresh produce regularly exceed Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs), raising food safety concerns and jeopardizing export potential.


Stakeholders and Target beneficiaries

The primary target beneficiaries of the project are smallholder farmers. Secondary beneficiaries are government departments responsible for plant protection, extension workers and inspectors from Cambodia, China PR (Yunnan, Hainan, and Guangxi provinces), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Other stakeholders involved in the project are local governments, local universities, research institutes, civil society organizations and private sector.


Effective regulatory control of pesticides and strengthened capacity to innovate and scale up Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and pesticide risk reduction training in farming communities in partner countries.

Planned Activities

Strengthening of the regulatory framework for the control of pesticides and capacity building for its enforcement, with special focus on inspection; Curriculum and materials development for training on pesticide risk reduction (including IPM for new invasive pest/diseases, crops and climate change adaptation, alternatives to pesticides); linking up with private sector; Training of Trainers, Farmer Field Schools and post-FFS activities on IPM/pesticide risk reduction; development and implementation of Community Action Plans on pesticide risk reduction; awareness raising on the impacts of IPM-FFS and pesticide risk reduction; support to policy development in favor of IPM/pesticide risk reduction; linking farmers to market; documentation of experiences.


Implementation Period

July 2013 – 31 December 2018

Total financial size

US$ 6.8 Million (for both policy and IPM field components)

More detailed information about the FAO Regional Pesticide Risk Reduction Programme, is available on: