Netherlands launch ‘paradigm shift’ on pesticide use

Dutch government say precision farming and innovative breeding should replace pesticide use.

Spraying pesticides. Photo credit: Pixabay

Spraying pesticides. Photo credit: Pixabay

A new Plant Protection Vision for Dutch agriculture has been launched by their government to protect natural resources and reduce farming's environmental impact.

In a Euractiv article the country's agriculture minister Carola Schouten said the vision represented a "paradigm shift":

“Pesticides are important to ensure good, high-quality production. However, the current dependence on pesticides is such that we need a radical turnaround...where pesticides remain necessary, their use should be ‘smart’ so as to minimise environmental emissions and assure the production of crops with barely any residues.”

The vision recommends replacing pesticide use with new breeding techniques in which plants are genetically engineered to improve drought and pest resistance. It also suggests making better use of precision farming which uses satellite technology to observe, measure and respond to variability of crops in the field.

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