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Manual for training of extension workers and farmers - Alternatives to methyl bromide for soil fumigation

February 2002 - Paris -- To support the extension workers that are engaged in the search for alternatives to methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol, the UNEP DTIE OzonAction Programme and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) have jointly developed two publications to help phase out the use of methyl bromide, a very toxic pesticide and ozone depleting substance in soil fumigation.

The Manual for training of extension workers and farmers - Alternatives to methyl bromide for soil fumigation was developed to describe the various steps of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a comprehensive training approach on new alternatives for extension workers and farmers. It also provides the framework for its implementation and guidance on how to set up Train-the-Trainers courses and Farmer Field Schools where farmers participate in the process of adaptation of these new technologies.

The Global report on validated alternatives to the use of methyl bromide for soil fumigation provides information intended to developing countries on technological and economical alternatives to methyl bromide that were successful. This document is aimed at assisting agricultural researchers and extension workers to carry out further studies that will contribute to the final validation of alternatives to replace methyl bromide.

The release of methyl bromide gas in the atmosphere is fatal to the ozone layer. It is used as a fumigant in agriculture to control soil-borne pests in various crops like tomatoes and strawberries. It is also used for quarantine treatments. Recognizing its threat to the ozone layer, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to a global phase-out schedule for methyl bromide in 1997. The terms of the Protocol state that the use and production of this fumigant will have to be phased out completely by 2005 in industrialized countries. Developing countries must freeze methyl bromide consumption by 2002, with a 20% reduction in 2005 and a phase out by 2015.

These publications are part of the information exchange services provided by UNEP to developing countries to help them meet their methyl bromide phase-out obligations under the Montreal Protocol. The OzonAction Programme has developed a range of technical and policy publications to support the methyl bromide phase out and the transition to alternatives. UNEP provides other clearinghouse services (Training & Networking of ODS Officers) as well as assistance with the development of national ODS phase out strategies (Country Programmes) and Institutional Strengthening support. For more information, contact: Rajendra M. Shende, Chief, UNEP TIE Energy and OzonAction Unit, Tour Mirabeau, 39-43 quai Andre Citroen, Paris 75739 cedex 15, France or Tel: (33.1), Fax: (33.1), email:

To ensure that the information is as widely available as possible, the OzonAction Programme is making the Sourcebook available on-line at