Online Event: Further improving farming sustainability via Integrated Pest Management: challenges & opportunities ahead
Tuesday 4 May, 14:00 – 16:00 CEST
MEP Norbert Lins (EPP), MEP Ulrike Müller (Renew Europe), MEP Sarah Wiener (Greens/EFA)
Vice-Chairs of the European Parliament Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development’
EU agriculture is facing an increasing demand for sustainable food, feed and non-food outlet production. On the other hand, farmers are being asked to produce more with less with even fewer natural resources, facing already new pests and diseases, most of them derived from climate change effects.
Sustainable Use Directive (2009/128), considers chemical substances as the last resort to be used in the fields for crop protection. For farmers, sustainable integrated pest management (IPM) tools should be seen as a combination of solutions authorised through science-based decision making at EU level; these solutions may include plant protection products, biocontrol technologies, innovative agronomic practices, digitalisation, resilient varieties or the research for new agricultural markets. Furthermore, this Directive is already part of CAP conditionality, which applies to all farmers whether or not they receive CAP support.
Both as consumers and as food suppliers, farmers are the first interested in having safe production conditions that respect the environment, the animal welfare, in order to offer top quality products, with maximum health guarantees and at affordable prices, as well as contributing to the conservation of our soils, the quality of our waters and the diversity of our flora and fauna. The development of their activity is done in an open and complex environment, subject to numerous foreseeable and unforeseeable variables that condition production. All this should be taken into account when considering any legislative modification, specific objectives or impact studies about EU agriculture situation and future potential.
Facilitating an exchange of best practices between all stakeholders, bringing solutions that meet farmers’ needs and bridging the gap between research and on-farm realities is the best way to enhance sustainability and to deliver on the Green Deal ambitions regarding the reduction of plant protection products. The CAP Strategic Plans Regulation has a great potential to contribute to an optimization of the use of plant protection products, especially with interventions through eco-schemes, AECM and through farm advisory service as well. Nevertheless, a much wider array of measures and contributions outside of CAP must be implemented, as the CAP cannot achieve these targets all alone.
This event will therefore focus on promoting safe and effective toolbox at hand, aiming at ensuring sustainable production and growing healthy crops, moreover ensuring food security. Last but not least, the event will address the need for long-term sustainability additional to technological tools, as well as reliable EU strategies and further research on plant protection products.