Pesticide use grows in the world

The use of pesticides in the world increased 36% during the period 2000-2019, to 4.2 million tons in 2019, reported the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Most of the increase took place between 2000 and 2012, and then leveled off.

The largest contributions came from Asia, followed by America, Europe, Africa and Oceania.

At the same time, regional contributions to the world total changed slightly over time, but Asia, the largest contributor, held steady at 52-53 percent.

For its part, the participation of the Americas increased from 29 to 33% of world pesticide consumption, while that of Europe decreased slightly from 14 to 11 percent.

Africa and Oceania applied small amounts of pesticides over time, but Oceania had the highest growth in pesticide applications (+85 percent).


China was the largest pesticide user in 2019 with 1.8 million tonnes, or 42% of the world total, far ahead of the United States and Brazil (0.4 million tonnes each).

Global pesticide use by area of ​​cropland increased 28% in the 2000s, from 2.1 kg / ha to 2.6 kg / ha, and stabilized after 2010, albeit with some important regional differences.

Pesticide application rates in 2019 were highest in the Americas, followed by Asia, Oceania, Europe, and Africa.

Also, in the 2010s, Oceania outperformed Europe, but both regions remained below the world average.

Meanwhile, Asia was the only region where pesticide use by growing area did not increase between 2010 and 2019.

The top three countries in terms of pesticide application rate for 2018 were Trinidad and Tobago, with 25 kg / ha, Saint Lucia, with 20 kg/ha. and Ecuador, with 14 kg / ha.

In general, the management, use and disposal of some chemicals and pesticides are inherent aspects of the production operations of companies related to agriculture.

These activities and other aspects of production are subject to various environmental laws and regulations, depending on the country of operation.

Additionally, in some countries, environmental laws may require investigation and, if necessary, remediation of contamination related to past or current operations.

For example, under the Food Quality Protection Act, enacted by the United States Congress in 1996, food-grade pesticides are evaluated to determine whether there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from the cumulative effects of exposure to pesticides.

Under this Act, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is evaluating the cumulative and aggregate risks of dietary and non-dietary pesticide exposures.


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