In the area of Innovation & Investment, EU pesticides and biopesticides manufacturers commit to:
Investment of 10 billion euros into innovation in precision and digital technologies by 2030.
Investment of 4 billion euros into innovation in biopesticides by 2030.
Farmers need tools to fight pests and diseases, and the EU pesticides and biopesticides manufacturers are committed to continuing innovation and investing in finding new solutions to equip farmers.
But for farmers, crop production is easier said than done. Changes to our environment – such as the impact of climate change driving the spread of pests and diseases, water scarcity, severe soil erosion, and increasing loss of biodiversity – are directly impacting food production. Likewise, farmers must do their work amidst new threats – such as the emergence of new invasive alien species. Add to this the ongoing demands of consumers, not only for affordable, qualitative food, but consumers’ expectations about how food should be produced.
In line with the EU Farm to Fork's overall ambition to reduce the environmental and climate footprint, our industry is investing in tools that will give farmers adequate solutions to protect crops from pests and diseases. We must ensure the protection of our food supply, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the importance of a robust and resilient food system. To further the European Commission's ambition of a digital and green recovery, we support the deployment of digital tools. We are already seeing how precision and digital technologies are decreasing agriculture’s ecological footprint.
A recent Scientific Foresight Study published by the European Parliament mentions that thanks to precision agriculture techniques applies in Integrated Pest Management we can see a reduction in pesticide use of up to 20-30% and a reduction of sprayed area between 50-80%.
Another good example for disease detection using for instance a multisensor optical system or volatile sensors can see a reduction of pesticide use with correct detection and good decision model (84.5% savings in pesticides possible)
Biopesticides are another area of focus for our industry. Biopesticides are substances of a natural origin that protect crops from pests and diseases and, thus, contribute to higher yields and provide new tools in resistance management. Supporting sustainable EU agriculture means looking at effective, safe and environmentally friendly solutions, including increasing the availability of biopesticides in integrated spray plans. With nature as a starting point, biopesticides profitably support sustainable agriculture with excellent integrated pest management (IPM) profiles. While these products can reduce the need for chemical pesticides, biopesticides are more likely to complement rather than replace them, underlining the most important part of farmers’ ability to improve quality, market access and tradability of fresh produce: having access to a variety of tools at their disposal.