Almost a year has passed since MAGRAMA, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Spanish Government, approved in the Sectorial Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development its National Action Plan for the sustainable use of plant protection products, PAN, taking in account the Article 4 of Directive 2009/128/EC. With that plan the administrations manifested their determination to introduce sustainability criteria in the use of plant protection products between 2013 and 2017.
These sustainability criteria include techniques of Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. As we already mentioned in other articles in Leaf, IPM is as a set of techniques to keep populations of pest organisms and plant diseases of agricultural crops in non-threatening concentrations for productivity, at the same time environmentally friendly.
The objectives of the PAN are:
1) To improve of the training and information on the safe and sustainable use of plant protection products.
2) To promote research, innovation and technology transfer in integrated pest management and sustainable use of plant protection products.
3) To promote Integrated Pest Management for a rational use of pesticides.
4) To promote the availability of effective pesticides to control pests, diseases and weeds, while respecting health and the environment.
5) To encourage techniques that minimize the risk of the use of pesticides.
6) To intensify surveillance programs on the market and use of plant protection products.
7) To reduce the risk arising from the use of pesticides in sensitive areas and natural areas under special protection.
From these goals MAGRAMA has set 29 measures which are detailed in the Proposal of the National Action Plan for the sustainable use of plant protection products (in Spanish)
Initiatives like PAN improve and pave the context of companies like Futureco Bioscience and promote the market of biopesticides and biofertilizers, at the same time that encourage different ways of managing crop protection from the combined knowledge of the environment, techniques and methodologies. In some way it forces farmers to be sensible and to apply an order and discipline on the treatment methodologies of their crops.
The integrated application of this knowledge and the diversity of techniques also suppose a paradigm shift in agricultural practices and a change of mind about what does taking care of fields, environment and crops mean, with richer options. It also encourages a different way of observing what is done in the field and the systemic implications of agriculture in a hipertechnological era. Agriculture is still the most critical human activity that provides us to live today and tomorrow.
More information on the website of Magrama: http://www.magrama.gob.es/es/agricultura/temas/sanidad-vegetal/productos-fitosanitarios/uso-sostenible-de-productos-fitosanitarios/