IPMWORKS (H2020) demonstrates the impact of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on pest control to MEPs and EU Agriculture Commissioner
From 13 to 16 February 2023, IPMWORKS organised an exhibition in the European Parliament in Strasbourg “Towards a Europe without pesticides within the framework of the European Green Deal and the reform of the SUD/SUR directive”, with the support of Claude Gruffat MEP (Greens, France).
During the exhibition, IPMWORKS agronomy experts and farmers from across Europe presented the project´s results and good IPM practices to over 40 MEPs from a wide range of countries and political groups, many from the AGRI and ENVI Committees. Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, the Presidents of both AGRI and ENVI Committees and a number the EP (shadow) rapporteurs on the new SUR Regulation also visited the exhibition. The exhibition came at a crucial time when the EP is debating the reform of the Sustainable Use Directive with a proposal for a Regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products (2021/2115) which includes IPM as the cornerstone in its implementation.
According to Nicolas Munier-Jolain (INRAE, France, and IPMWORKS coordinator): “IPMWORKS is working under the umbrella of the Farm to Fork Strategy, which targets a halving of pesticide use and impact. During the exhibition, we had a real opportunity to demonstrate that there are many alternatives to pesticides, that some pioneer farmers are using them successfully on their farms, with satisfying levels of pest control, productivity and profitability in spite of their reduced use of pesticides.”
The IPMWORKS exhibition was also joined by the IPMDecisions H2020 project, IBMA and IFOAM and included over 25 real case examples of how farmers are working to reduce or remove pesticides from their daily agricultural practices. IPMWORKS brought its team of agronomic experts in pest control and a number of pioneer farmers from several European countries to Strasbourg to show its “demonstration” activities where farmers learn successfully from each other in a peer to peer process of learning.
Alun Jones (CIHEAM Zaragoza), Work Package Policy leader of IPMWORKS who organised the exhibition and scheduled the MEP briefings was satisfied with the result. “A clear outcome was that we need to accompany farmers in the transition towards a targeted and stepwise reduction in pesticides use in farming. This can only come if we are able to significantly scale up such peer to peer demo activities. This would need significant support from the CAP for demo activities or even from a dedicated funding stream for the “IPM transition of conventional agriculture” in order to ensure real impact at the farm level”.