We need biological control for the agriculture transition
The 129 biological control substances planned for submission by 2028 in the EU, show that biologicals are ready to make a substantial contribution to the achievement of synthetic pesticide reduction targets.
Data presented to the European Commission in March 2023 shows an abundance of biological controls in the regulatory pipeline, record growth in the biologicals sector with increasing demand from farmers.
Speaking in the European Parliament PEST Special Committee conference 4 years later, what’s left to be done, Jennifer Lewis Executive Director of the International Biocontrol Industry Association (IBMA) presented the report Biological control in the pipeline. This report revealed that biological control plant protection products to be submitted by 2028 would cover 28M hectares, of which 23M are arable crops. The pipeline would cover about 20% of all European farmland, with a further 10% potential from using invertebrate biocontrol.
The Sustainable Use Regulation (SUR) will help achieve this potential, by giving legal standing to biocontrol enabling regulatory actions for fast-track approval. With a legal definition and a positive target for biocontrol, the EU will have the legal muscle to mainstream the transition to environmentally friendly farming working with nature.
“A binding positive target for biocontrol by 2030, will send a clear message to all authorities, advisers and farmers to move to biology, using chemicals only as a last resort. Using biological control means ecosystems regeneration, the only route to future food security. “ underlines Jennifer Lewis.
The agriculture transition, like the energy transition, requires binding 2030 and 2050 biological control targets and a dedicated innovation budget, to create biology based programmes in the field to enable the agroecological transition.
“Farmers will reduce pesticide use only when they are confident of the availability and efficacy of biological control solutions. Biocontrol is used on millions of hectares worldwide. Efficacy is clear. Availability is now the problem, and the SUR is the solution. The SUR is essential for the transition to sustainable and regenerative agriculture.” concludes IBMA Executive Director Jennifer Lewis.
For further information or schedule an interview, please contact Mrs Isabelle Pinzauti Babrzynski, Senior Advocacy and Outreach Manager of IBMA – the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association. firstname.lastname@example.org; 0032 497695842; www.ibma-global.org