The Persistence of Pesticide Dependence

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In 1998 the World Bank adopted a binding policy on pest management requiring the Bank to assist borrower countries in reducing farmers’ reliance on chemical pesticides and encourage the adoption of farmer-driven, ecologically-based integrated pest management systems (IPM). Yet in the five years since Operational Policy 4.09 on Pest Management was formally adopted, the Bank has struggled to translate its written policy into meaningful and appropriate action on the ground. This report reveals the degree to which the World Bank has fallen short on its commitment to IPM, and that Bank lending for agricultural and rural development has con- tinued to exacerbate rather than reduce pesticide dependence, undermining the letter and spirit of OP 4.09.

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