Pesticide Risk Reduction in Myanmar
The Dutch Embassy in Myanmar works in close cooperation with RVO (PSD Apps) to support sustainable agricultural production in Myanmar. They aim at reduction of risks of pesticide use through the development of a well-functioning pesticide registration system, and elimination of high-risk pesticides from the market. To achieve this goal, the Dutch Embassy together with RVO’s PSD Coach of Myanmar initiated this project, where Wageningen University & Research (WUR) cooperates with the Plant Protection Division (PPD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI).
Together, WUR and the PPD developed a decision support system that enables registration authorities to make sound and transparent decisions on authorizing or rejecting pesticide products. The system has been designed in such a way that it can be tailored to the capacities of registration authorities in different countries. It consists of flow chart and a format for an accompanying decision making summary.
The flowchart includes elements like human health risk assessments, guidance based upon FAO/WHO criteria to identify highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) and a fast-track evaluation procedure for low risk pesticides. In the project, the methods for the different elements in the flow chart were discussed and practised and, where necessary, adjusted to the requirements and/or capacity of the PPD. WUR initiated discussions at different governmental levels on requirements needed for implementing the developed decision support system. A major issue proved to be the huge number of applications for pesticide registration (~1000/year). This problem and possible solutions (including recommendations for adjusting the pesticide law) were discussed at the relevant governmental levels.
Visit of Myanmar delegation
Involvement of high level government officials was additionally supported by the Dutch embassy by enabling a visit of a Myanmar delegation to the Netherlands. The visit facilitated the benchmarking of Dutch institutional settings and pesticide registration practices and its impacts against Myanmar institutional settings and practices. This proved to be very useful for acceptance of the developed decision support system and for putting into perspective several of the issues on institutional settings (e.g. the huge number of pesticide registration applications, financial structure of registration authorities).
Evaluation of pesticide products
Furthermore, the PPD and WUR, conducted an evaluation of all 3290 pesticide products registered in Myanmar by May 2017. The products were assessed using the guidance based upon FAO/WHO criteria to identify highly hazardous pesticides (HPPs). A total of 167 pesticide products were identified as HHPs (5% of the total number of registered products). Further review of this short-list of HHPs is needed, and will in particular assess i) the present use and future need for these pesticides, ii) available alternatives, both less hazardous pesticides as well as non-chemical control options (e.g. biological control, IPM) and iii) risks of the HHPs under the local conditions of use. Based on this assessment, the Myanmar government can decide on risk mitigation options for the HHPs, reducing their risks to acceptable levels. These may include the withdrawal of registration, restriction of their uses, or other risk reduction measures. It is expected that human health and environmental risks due to highly hazardous pesticides will be greatly reduced.
For more information please contact:
Mechteld ter Horst
T: +31 317481811
T: + 31 06 2115 3726