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A Toxics-Free Future


Situation Report on Chlorpyrifos in Ethiopia

Agriculture in Ethiopia is the foundation of the country's economy. It is estimated that 85% of the 120 million people in Ethiopia are engaged in agriculture. In an effort to increase production and productivity, the agricultural sector uses inputs like pesticides and fertilizers as driving forces. Input use and distribution is mainly conducted through agricultural development agents who are working at the grassroots level with smallholder farmers.

The use of agricultural inputs in Ethiopia, including pesticides, was introduced to the smallholder farmers in 1960’s through agricultural extension systems. Since then the use of pesticides by smallholder farmers has shown a steady growth. Recently, a special emphasis on agriculture investment and the development of the flower sector has greatly contributed to the import and use of pesticides. This increasing trend in the use of pesticides as part of development poses threats to human health and the environment.

Moreover, highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) including persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and chlorpyrifos are being widely used by smallholder and commercial farmers in Ethiopia. Progressive bans of the use of HHPs has been recommended by FAO since 2006 due to their confirmed adverse impacts on people, the environment, and biodiversity. However, concerted efforts to identify registered HHPs and ban their use have been minimal in Ethiopia.

This report, hence, describes the import and distribution of chlorpyrifos in Ethiopia and the purposes the pesticide is used for and what kind of problems the pesticide has brought to human health and the environment. The report also describes the responsible government bodies that regulate pesticides and the policy framework for regulation of Highly Hazardous Pesticides in Ethiopia.

This report relates to Sustainable Development Goals 2, 3, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Special thanks to IPEN's Anglophone Africa Regional Coordinator Silvani Mng'anya, IPEN's Anglophone Africa Regional Hub AGENDA, and the lead organization developing this report, PAN Ethiopia, for their important contributions to the development and finalization of the project.

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