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Reducing pesticides promises quick success

Two initiatives, coming a year before the peoples, would turn agriculture to the top: The Drinking Water Initiative wants to give farmers only direct payments that do not use pesticides. The initiative "For Switzerland without synthetic pesticides" even calls for the ban on synthetic pesticides. Scientists from the Research Institute for Organic Farming (FiBL) have used pesticides for solutions.

review

Does agriculture come without pesticides?

Scientists have come to the conclusion that there is a potential for quick success in reducing pesticide contamination, as FiBL writes in a press release on Tuesday. Research Institute concludes:

Sub-steps can be implemented immediately. Practice and research in organic agriculture show that herbicides can be completely replaced by state-of-the-art equipment, mixed cultures and soil coverings. Scientists evaluate "Swiss herbicide-free agriculture" as an interesting vision for practice, its unique market position and agricultural policy.

Preventive plant protection is not possible without the influence of multiple crops (without monoculture), mixed crops, deer bovines and hedges, floral strips or non-profit weeds. FiBL requires simple pesticide solutions as a replacement. Farmers, plant protection experts, breeding experts, ecologists, researchers and consultants are just a networked part of the solution.

New varieties need time and money. This also applies to breeding projects, such as better tolerance of apple disease or the tolerance of cotton on the drilling and insect insects that FiBL applies in India. In this case breeding is carried out with the participation of all involved. Such projects show the way but need more support and imitators around the world.

For 30 years, FiBL and Agroscope investigate the direct protection of plants without chemical synthesized pesticides. The Research Institute estimates the number of possible solutions as enormous. They include the use of antagonists such as insects, viruses and nematodes. Another option is herbal extracts or natural materials such as clay minerals and milk extracts. Since it is extremely expensive to develop these solutions as standardized plant protection products, FiBL invites public and private investment in research.

According to scientists, Switzerland would be predestined to the right place at the top. As proof of the identified potential, scientists see approval requirements for new active substances: Half of all new drug authorization applications in the European Union are now considered biological pesticides.

(Bz)