Pesticide and Agrochemical
Crop protection products, commonly referred to as pesticides or agrochemical products, are both naturally occurring and man-made (synthetic) chemicals that play a vital role in controlling the diseases, insects and weeds that harm or destroy our food crops and threaten public health. With growing global populations that constantly challenge food production, crop protection products offer a means towards meeting the challenge of more food from less land.
There are serious challenges for farmers and the food crops they grow. For example, crops must compete with 30,000 species of weeds, 3,000 species of nematodes or roundworms, and 10,000 species of plant-eating insects. We know that despite the use of modern crop protection products, 20-40 percent of potential food production is still lost every year to pests. These losses can occur while the crop is growing in the field, when it is in storage and in the home. In short, an adequate and reliable food supply cannot be guaranteed without the use of crop protection products.
Therefore, chemical crop protection is used as a means to help farmers improve agricultural productivity, contribute to food security and alleviate poverty. These benefits are not confined to the users of pesticides, but reach the great majority of people across the world.
Today, consumers expect to choose from an abundant supply of fresh, high quality foods that meet our nutritional needs, whilst being affordable and accessible all year-round. So it is critical to recognize that crop protection bring numerous benefits and make a significant contribution to the lifestyles we have come to expect.
However, the general public often oppose the use of pesticides, but they make possible the year-round availability of high-quality, affordable food. Similarly, the environment and wild plants, birds and animals benefit from the carefully regulated application of chemical pesticides.
The safety of pesticides for users, consumers, and environmental impact is carefully and highly regulated. Product registrations and permitting sale within a country are based upon comprehensive safety assessments and defined product uses. Each product has a specific application that is clearly indicated on the label. Whilst these regulatory aspects are carefully considered prior to commercial sale, the lifecycle approach to pesticide management dictates that manufacturers also extend their safety considerations through the entire lifespan of the product. This commitment is referred to as “product stewardship”.
In summary, CropLife Asia helps the industry to advocate and highlight that:
- Chemical crop protection products or “pesticides” help control insects, diseases, weeds, fungi and other undesirable pests
- Pesticides comprise a wide range of products for both professional and home applications including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, sanitizers, growth regulators, rodenticides, and soil fumigants
- The use of chemical crop protection in all contexts is highly regulated
- The regulatory framework of pesticides encompasses national, regional, and international legislation and conventions that help assure safety for users, consumers and the environment
- The lifecycle approach to pesticide management dictates that safety considerations are adhered to through the entire lifespan of the product.