In 2020, Elisabeth Borne walked down the aisle of the Agriculture Salon as Minister for Ecological Transition. Three years later, as head of government, she strolled through the Palace of Versailles in Paris on Monday, February 27, touring France’s largest farm. Emmanuel Macron opened the show two days ago with the task of unveiling the main elements of a plan to reassure farmers about the use of pesticides. Guided by the coordination of French actions with those of the European Union.
“Why ask our farmers to put in effort that their neighbors don’t have to? Our recent decision was a bit too sudden, we left farmers with ukases, no solutions”, proclaimed President of the Republic. For Elysee, ‘This is the first time we want to take farmers to heart’ decision, while a previous program to reduce pesticides in agriculture, called “Ecophyto”, was largely supported by “motivation” environment and health.
The first government program, Ecophyto I, launched in 2008, aims to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides by 50% within ten years. Faced with difficulties along this trajectory, Ecophyto II took over in 2015, this time pushing back the goal until 2025. Manufacturers of phytosanitary products within Phyteis estimate that the volume of products sold in France fell by almost 30% between 2008 and 2021.
However, in 2021, they rebounded by 8%. They should make further progress in 2022. Phyteis brings together manufacturers such as Bayer, BASF or Syngenta, but has not yet been announced. But the combined turnover of its members rose by 30 percent to 2.5 billion euros. Price increases alone cannot explain the jump.
Respect the European framework
For the new plan, the state did not set a goal to reduce pesticide use. “This new Ecophyto 2030 plan will be developed by all players, starting with farmers. Its resources will be increased.M said.I terminal, for an unspecified amount. She called on the Ministers of Agriculture (Marc Fesneau), Ministers of Ecological Transition (Christophe Béchu) and Ministers of Research (Sylvie Retacleau) “Propose a new national strategy” Summer phytosanitary products.
By respecting European frameworks, and only European frameworks. “We will not impose any regulatory distortions on our producers, except in circumstances of force majeure, when public health is at stake”she added, emphasizing: “Nobody here wants to go through the mistakes of chlordecone”regarding the toxic pesticide, which was banned in the United States in 1975 but was not used until 1993 on banana plantations in Guadeloupe and Martinique, causing many cancers.
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