The Pesticide Control Board (PCB) is the main statutory body responsible for regulating the use and management of pesticides in Belize. There are currently 565 pesticide formulations registered for use in Belize and listed in the official register of pesticides, containing some 193+ active ingredients. Registration, surveillance, monitoring and enforcement of the responsible use and management of so many pesticides is no small task for the staff at PCB. Its importance is underscored considering that agriculture plays an important role in Belize’s economy, contributing almost 13% to GDP, and employing about 10% of the population at the end of 2015. Belize has increased its use of pesticides and other agro-chemicals over the years due to more intensification and commercial development of agricultural production systems, the need to increase productivity and deal with pests and disease problems, and to become more competitive in both internal and external markets.
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and PCB are implementing a technical cooperation project to strengthen the PCB by improving its capacity and capabilities in the areas of management, administration and operations of the organization to improve its services and outreach to the agricultural sector. The intended products of this collaboration effort will include the development of PCB’s
- First strategic plan 2017-2021
- Two year action plan to guide the implementation of the strategic plan
- Annual work plan 2017/2018
- Planning, Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation System
- Board and Executive Committee Operations Manual
- Human Resource Manual
The practical implementation of PCB’s responsibilities includes monitoring and inspection of pesticide businesses, the major industries and farmers.The core activities are supported by training of and outreach to farmers, pesticide applicators, importers and retailers on (1) the dangers that pesticides can pose depending on the product’s toxicity, application method, and type and length of exposure; (2) the proper use and management of pesticides including the appropriate dosage, calibration of equipment, rate conversions, proper storage and the responsible disposal of unused products and empty containers.
The technical cooperation between IICA and the PCB will contribute to making the PCB stronger carrying out its mandate and achieving its mission which is“To safeguard the health of the Belizean people and the environment, through pesticide regulation and capacity building, thus promoting the availability of wholesome food through rational pesticide management”.