FEATURED INFORMATION

Plant protection products and Integrated Pest Management

Carlos Palomar Peñalba
General Manager of AEPLA Business Association for Plant Protection

Agriculture is facing serious challenges. In 2020, the global population will reach 6.8 billion people, and this will rise to 9 billion by 2050. This growing population and its demands, as well as the number of malnourished people, poses a challenge in terms of meeting the demand for food and livestock feed and for maintaining renewable resources.

Agriculture is facing serious challenges. In 2020, the global population will reach 6.8 billion people, and this will rise to 9 billion by 2050. This growing population and its demands, as well as the number of malnourished people, poses a challenge in terms of meeting the demand for food and livestock feed and for maintaining renewable resources.

On implementing Directive 2009/128, the key role of plant protection products in this challenge must be safeguarded, whilst also making certain they are used in a sustainable fashion. Integrated Pest Management is a fundamental pillar of this approach.

Sustainability and Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management has a long history in the fruit-growing areas of Catalonia and Spain. The combined use of chemical, biological, and other means of control sought to increase environmental sustainability with fewer interventions.

The new EU legislation, which is extremely restrictive, together with the demands of supermarket retailers, with guidelines that cater more to politics and the media than to agronomic requirements, raises questions surrounding two fundamental components of true sustainability: economic and social aspects. Professionals have voiced their concern: while Integrated Pest Management is the present, and will be compulsory from January 2014, does it actually have a future? Will it really be sustainable?

There are many hurdles along that path. The first is the exclusion of active substances formerly allowed under Directive 91/414, which threatens several fruit crops. Examples include the pear psylla, fire blight, the need to control tree growth, and post-harvest treatments. Unless scientists solve this problem by establishing sensible criteria, the new Regulation 1107/2009 will ban even more solutions.

The second hurdle is the fact that supermarket retailers’ current demands make it nearly impossible to implement a key factor in Integrated Pest Management: the need to combine and rotate different active substances to prevent the development of resistance.

A third hurdle is the pace of development: because of their difficulty, their cost, or the slow registration process, new chemical, biological, or technological solutions are developed farm more slowly than allowed solutions are getting banned and new pests are appearing; see, for example, the case of Drosophila suzukii. The continued use of exceptional authorizations for pesticide use shows, firstly, that we are in a permanent state of crisis, and secondly, that pesticides are the main resource for solving this problem.

It is therefore extremely important to have a forum for debate such as SmartFruit, where real experts can consider and propose true management strategies which allow the sector to get ready and secure the future of fruit production without ideological interference.

At AEPLA we also advocate a change in objectives and terminology. The aim is not to use fewer pesticides, but to use them sensibly. Plans involving quantitative reduction targets in other countries, such as Denmark or France, have clearly failed. Using plant protection products sensibly means doing so only when necessary, after applying the appropriate safety and surveillance measures, and employing all of the technologies, predictive models, and information systems that allow us to work in the 21st century.

One final, groundbreaking suggestion: the current consensus is that preserving the old distinction between integrated and conventional approaches is a pointless exercise, so I submit that we should get rid of the overused word ‘integrated’, and simply speak of MANAGEMENT instead. This simple word by itself covers everything we are discussing here: professionalization, economy, sustainability, and maximum efficiency in the use of scarce resources.

Featured highlights

Legal notice

In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is to promote the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartFruit IPM International Congress via its website.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.

Data protection policy

In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.