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Mali farmers receive training on decreasing pesticide use

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) announced that schools in Mali have been training cotton farmers on the use of natural substances in order to reduce the use of dangerous pesticides by 92 per cent while sustaining crop production

Research carried out by the FAO identified that the roll out of new pest-control methods for cotton farmers in Mali ‘nearly eliminated’ the use of harmful pesticides.

The report which was released Monday by the London-based Royal Society studied two communities; one that received trained in the use of bio-pesticides and one that did not.

“The outcome of the study, which looked at historical records from the cotton company itself over an eight-year period, showed that in the area in which the training took place ... those farmers reduced their use of synthetic, highly toxic pesticides by more than 92 per cent,” FAO Plant Production and Protection Division project manager William Settle said.

“Whereas compared with another area of the country, not too far away, in which they had not yet conducted farmer training, pesticide use was unchanged,” Settle added.