news agency
Pesticides increasingly used in global agriculture

Pesticides increasingly used in global agriculture

The use of pesticides Agriculture has doubled worldwide since 1990, with strong disparities from one continent to another. Pesticides protect cropsby destroying organisms considered harmful to floors, but they have harmful effects on the environment and health.

A growing use on the planet

Farmers consumed 3.54 million tons of active substances in 2021, an increase of eleven% in 10 years and almost double compared to 1990, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

This agency measures the volumes of phytosanitary products sold based on data provided by States or product sellers when countries do not provide them, which does not necessarily reflect their dangerousness.

This method is far from ideal, but it has the merit of allowing comparisons to be made, noted Francesco Tubiello, a statistician at the FAO.

Confidentiality, the lack of willingness to share this type of information, different indications in each country make these data “the most difficult to collect”he assured.

Herbicides, which combat weeds, account for about half. Fungicides and bactericides, used against fungi and bacteria, 22%; and insecticides, which attack harmful insects, 22%.

Phytosanitary systems, which include synthetic pesticides and copper-based mineral substances, e.g. “They are necessary to protect the yields and incomes of producers,” recalled Niklas Möhring, an agricultural economist at the University of Bonn.

But admit that “Numerous studies have demonstrated in recent years its impact on health, ecosystems, biodiversity, and sometimes on yields due to the emergence of resistance.”

It is difficult for farmers to avoid pesticides “because they work very well, they are not expensive and they can be used in different contexts, often with the same machinery, without the need for in-depth knowledge”he highlighted.

Brazil, the world’s largest consumer of pesticides

Since the mid-1990s, the American continent has been the largest consumer of pesticides, with an increase in 191% in its use between 1990 and 2021, to reach 1.78 million tons.

It is also the continent where, between 1990 and 2021, the highest average volume of pesticides per hectare was applied.

Brazil is the country that uses the most pesticides in the world, with 720,000 tons and an average of 10.9 kg/ha, above the United States with 457 tons and 2.85 kg/ha.

In those two countries, farmers often limit plowing of field crops (wheat, corn, soybeans), which requires more herbicides. Asia is the second most consuming continent, with 980,000 tons of pesticides used in 2021, an increase of 67% Since 1990.

However, it is below the world average in its utilization per hectare. Indonesia and China are number 3 and 4 among the largest global consumers.

Europe tries to limit

Pesticide consumption in Europe has only increased 1% since 1990, reaching 505,000 tons in 2021, according to the FAO.

But this stabilization “shows that 10 to 15 years of pesticide policies have had no real positive impact”highlighted Möhring regarding the reference to the obligation of each State of the European Union to develop a strategic pesticide reduction plan.

However, he noted that Denmark showed that it is possible to change things, especially with a system of higher taxes for products that are most dangerous to health and the environment.

The largest European consumers per hectare are the Netherlands (10.9 kg/ha) and Ireland (7 kg/ha). France is average (3.7 kg/ha), behind Spain (4.6 kg/ha) and Germany (4.1 kg/ha) and ahead of Poland (2.3 kg/ha).

Within the same country, use varies strongly from one type of crop to another. In France, according to the statistics service of the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2017 or 2018, soybeans received on average less than three treatments per year, wheat seven treatments, and apples 36 treatments.

In Africa, consumption has increased 175% since 1990, but it continues to be the continent with the least consumption per hectare.

Source: Gestion

You may also like

Hot News



follow us

Immediate Access Pro