About 3.5 billion kilograms of pesticides are used each year across the globe. By keeping crops healthy and boosting production, the chemicals benefit farmers and the economies of developing nations.
But pesticides have been found to disrupt ecosystems and harm animal life, including bees and other pollinators that are important for agriculture. Pesticides also take a toll on human health, and many countries do not have the capacity to fully investigate and understand the extent of pesticide poisoning.
To reduce dependence on potentially toxic chemicals, researchers are helping farmers experiment with centuries-old agricultural practices aimed at controlling pests and farming sustainably.