A half a million obsolete pesticides can currently be found in developing countries. These toxic chemicals, abandoned or stored in inadequate spaces, can contaminate a radius of 300 metres and at least 50 centimetres below the ground.
There is also the danger of the pesticide leeching into the water table and contaminating a population's potable water sources, agriculture or livestock. Eliminating these dangerous reserves is imperative to attaining sustainable agricultural development.
Rural communities have no hope of developing if their land and water is contaminated by pesticides, and their populations cannot advance if they suffer from serious diseases caused by pesticide poisoning.
FAO works to prevent and eliminate the use of illegal and obsolete pesticides in the region by helping countries keep stock of their pesticide inventories, dispose of current supplies and prevent these products from accumulating in the future.
Boletín de Gestión de Plaguicidas
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FAO has detected 400 tons of obsolete pesticides and contaminated material in Bolivia. In Paraguay 4,000 tons were found, of which 180 tons have been disposed of thanks to a cooperative project between Paraguay, Japan and FAO.