Sustainable use of Pesticides: No-Go or Go?

In the race to maintain high volumes of agricultural production, many countries use some agricultural practices, that can be dangerous to ecosystems and humans. The economic benefits of high production and sufficient supply of affordable food should be balanced out against possible harms to environment, public health and quality of life. 

The recent floods, fires and droughts are a clear reminder that it’s time for a change. And the changes started happening - there is global shift among the countries that are largest agricultural producers towards more sustainable use of pesticides.

As the European Union’s Farm to Fork strategy and European Green Deal, or China’s practice of phasing out the use of hazardous pesticides, or Brazil’s efficient ban on use of some pesticides. This move maps the road towards sustainable food systems, that will improve people’s health and can bring environmental and social benefits along with economic gains.

However, we are living in the era of globalization. Even if one country follows the environmental route, as the countries around the world are co-depended, they will still import out of season fruits, vegetables and other food products from countries that didn’t follow the suit. Meaning that their efforts to improve the lifestyle and health of their citizens will go to waste.

It is not enough for big agricultural producers to promote sustainable use of pesticides, other small producers must do the same, but if a big economy can afford such expenses, it can be challenging for small agricultural players.

At the moment Integrated Pest management is the best bet in fight to keep volumes of production up and minimize overall environmental, economic and health risks. As a part of IPM, pheromone traps can be used both as a monitoring tool and as a mass trapping device used in conjunction with an insecticide, which will provide effective, fairly inexpensive and most important environmentally friendly means to phase out the use of some pesticides.

Published on 10.02.2023