Program Overview, Objectives, and PrioritiesThe Cochran Fellowship Program is requesting the design and delivery of training activities for a special initiative Cochran Fellowship Program on the U. S. regulatory system covering pesticides and maximum residue limits (MRL), among related topics.BackgroundSince
1984, the U. S. Congress has made funds available to the Cochran Fellowship Program for training agriculturalists from middle-income countries, emerging markets and emerging democracies.
Training opportunities are for senior and mid-level specialists and administrators working in agricultural trade and policy, agribusiness development, management, animal, plant, and food sciences, extension services, agricultural marketing, and many other areas.
Individuals selected for Cochran trainings come from both the public and private sectors.
All training occurs in the United States.
Training programs are designed and organized in conjunction with U. S. universities, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other U. S. Government agencies, agribusinesses, and consultants.The USDA aims to align pesticide registration systems and MRLs standard setting across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and to do so based on the U. S. regulatory system and international standard setting bodies.
Alignment of registration systems and trade standards based on risk is a complex process, involving multiple regulatory agencies and technical staff across regions and continents, and requires a multifaceted approach involving experts from a broad array of subject matters.
Aligned trade standards support exports of U. S. agricultural products to foreign markets.Access to new, low-risk pesticide products continues to be challenging for farmers around the world.
Even when these products are available, farmers globally face trade barriers when residue standards differ, or do not exist, in export markets.
Efforts to build regulatory capacity and encourage the adoption of import tolerances and Codex MRLs, when appropriate, can help reduce these trade barriers and ensure critical pest control tools are available to farmers.DescriptionFAS is requesting the design and delivery of a training program on the U. S. pesticide system for twenty-four Fellows from Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The program would take place in the United States and could occur in multiple states/cities in 2022 or 202 3. Fellows will be foreign government officials responsible for regulating and studying pesticides in their countries.There will be two fellows from each of 12 countries outlined in the Countries for Program Implementation section.
The grantee is expected to host three separate but identical training programs for Fellows, who will possibly be grouped together by region (Latin America, Africa and Asia).
The training programs will occur at separate times over the period of performance at intervals to be determined by the recipient and FAS.The objective of this program is to help foreign regulatory officials widen their knowledge and understanding of the U. S. regulatory systems, as well as build support around risk-based approaches to pesticide policies and international standards.
This program should assist Fellows in understanding the entirety of the U. S. pesticide system, and will provide an overview and insights on:
critical private and public stakeholders involved in the use and regulation of pesticides; the U. S. regulatory system; pesticide registration; establishment of MRLs; domestic and import testing and surveillance; evidence-based risk analysis; risk-based vs hazard-based approaches; U. S. involvement in international fora, and international standard setting bodies, such as the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues.FAS will work with the awardee(s) to identify suitable candidates from countries identified by FAS as a priority.
The awardee(s) will arrange for all costs associated with the program including domestic & international airfare, local transportation, visa fees, Meals & Incidental Expenses (M&IE), lodging, international travel insurance, conference rooms and equipment, presenters and experts to cover learning objectives, and U. S. based staff to accompany the fellows during their time in the United States.
The grantee(s) will work with FAS to develop and design the daily agenda to ensure it meets identified learning objectives and includes critical stakeholders.Additionally, awardee(s) will collaborate with the institution(s) selected to host a Special Initiative Borlaug Program covering similar topics.
The Borlaug program will host 4 researchers working to generate efficacy and residue data via field trials for establishing MRLs.
Recipient(s) from both programs will work alongside FAS to develop the scope of this collaboration before the period of performance.
USDA domestic and international staff may accompany the group at their own expense and will account for their own logistical arrangements.Learning ObjectivesThe program will ensure that the fellows increase their knowledge in the following pesticide areas:• Overview of U. S. Departments and Agencies involved in the U. S. pesticide regulatory system (Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, etc.)• Coordination/communication/correlation between institutions that work on pesticide programs• U. S. pesticide legal framework• U. S. pesticide guidelines and standards• Role of private sector in the U. S. regulatory system• U. S. process for setting MRLs• U. S. import tolerance program• Generation of efficacy and residue data• U. S. registration formats• U. S. data requirements• Emergency use regulations• Risk assessment processes• Biopesticide registration and use in the United States• Sampling, monitoring and surveillance (domestic & imports)• Lab diagnostics and Good Lab Practices (GLP) for pesticide residues• Public/Non-Governmental Organization pesticide communications and public engagement• Overview of the International Standard Setting Bodies related to pesticides and biopesticides• Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR)• World Trade Organization – Sanitary/Phyto-Sanitary Committee Engagement• The benefits of a risk-based approach vs hazard-based and problems with the precautionary principle• The European Union’s approach to regulating pesticides and ramifications for trading partners, including overviews of the International Trade Commission and USDA’s Economic Research Service reportsCountries for Program Implementation (2 fellows per country)• Brazil• Colombia• Ghana• Guatemala• Indonesia• Kenya• Nigeria• Peru• Philippines• South Africa• Thailand• Vietnam