April 26, 2019

EP report regarding farming without plant protection products

Plant Protection Products (PPPs) are often perceived by citizens as very harmful for human health and for the environment. The tendency in EU policy is to stimulate reduction in use of PPPs. In a recent report (March 2019) made by the EPRS (European Parliamentary Research Service) the possibilities and impossibilities have been studied.

A summary of the report says that crop protection not only entails the use of PPPs but also other alternative measures, such as crop rotation, the implementation of resistant cultivars (not at all or less available in many crops), soil management and others. Without PPPs, yields will be reduced, depending on the crop, and reductions of between 19 % (wheat) and 42 % (potato) have been reported. These reductions are higher in regions with high actual production, the latter also as a result of the input of fertilizers, high-yielding varieties, irrigation, etc. Without PPPs, including biopesticides, the food security of 11 billion people in the future is threatened. On the other hand, it is still an open question whether it is possible to reduce the use of PPPs without yield reduction. There are several indications that, for specific crops, a reduction in PPP use is feasible. The general tendency is that a reduction seems possible in the case of (very) high actual PPP use, but not in the case of low use. The report can be donwloaded here.

Last modified: April 26, 2019