The goal is to achieve sustainable plant protection

By: STA Date: 2023. 01. 19. 09:32

The agricultural government agrees with the implementation of sustainable plant protection, the reduction of the environmental burden, the mitigation of risks arising from the use of pesticides, stated Márton Nobilis, the State Secretary responsible for the food industry and trade policy of the Ministry of Agriculture at the XXXII. Keszthely Plant Protection Forum, Georgikon Campus of the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

(Photo: Pixabay)

The state secretary added that in the current food security and inflation situation, when there is a war, a drought, and we are in the aftermath of an epidemic, neither the further increase of production costs nor the reduction of production is acceptable. The direct consequence of this would be an increase in imports, which would entail a serious food safety risk. Hungary calls for the different starting points of the member states and the results achieved so far to be taken into account when determining the mandatory national target values related to the use and risk of chemical plant protection products. In Hungary, the use of pesticides per hectare has been below the EU average for years: in 2020, for example, the EU average was 2.1 kilograms per hectare, while this figure was 1.7 kilograms in Hungary, he added. This also shows that Hungary has always been in favor of protecting the environment and using less pesticides. If this decree is accepted, food would become even more expensive, it would be more difficult to get it, and we also have to take care of those Hungarian families for whom it is much more difficult to buy food, emphasized the state secretary.

An agreement is needed on the subject

Márton Nobilis also touched on the fact that the majority of the member states asked the European Commission in a council resolution to supplement the impact study related to its proposal on the reduction of pesticides. Because consumers have the right to know how much more they will have to pay for food if the proposal is accepted. Moreover, no responsible decision can be made until it is known how much the EU’s agricultural production will decrease as a result of the Commission’s proposal. The state secretary emphasized that an agreement is needed that finds a delicate balance between health, environmental and climate protection, as well as competitiveness and economic aspects. In order to implement sustainable plant protection, in addition to technological development, the appropriate expertise is very important: thanks to our traditions and our excellent training places, we have good specialists in the field of plant protection. The cooperation of plant protection specialists and the joint application of integrated plant protection methods ensure the production of healthy food free of pesticide residues. The Plant Protection Institute of the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences performs an essential task in this area. Márton Nobilis emphasized that the Ministry of Agriculture remains committed to raising the profession to a higher level, so that plant protectionists can receive a doctorate in the future.


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