Home - Themes - Preserve water quality - Reducing the use of phytosanitary products


    -Didier Marteau \ APCA
    "All the various parts of the Ecophyto 2018 plan form a whole and I have undertaken primarily to monitor plants in France in view of better organising their protection..."

Reducing the use of phytosanitary products

Reducing the use of pesticides is a means to protect the health of consumers and farmers, but also to preserve the quality of water, soil and biodiversity. The goal of the Ecophyto 2018 plan is to cut in half the quantity of pesticides used in France, if possible in just ten years. The 2009 national budget assigned to Onema the task of funding certain elements of the plan using part of the fees for diffuse pollution paid by the distributors of phytosanitary products. By the end of 2010, almost 36.5 million euros had been invested to that end.

In the Ecophyto plan, Onema funds collective projects on the national scale. This financial aid complements that of the ministries. The Water agencies can also grant individual assistance, notably to farms.

Reinforce monitoring networks for bio-aggressors (section 5)

Virtually all regions and agricultural sectors have set up monitoring networks for bioaggressors, mobilising a wide range of participants in observation activities and in drafting the new plant-health bulletins. These bulletins provide farmers and agricultural technicians with data on the dynamics of harmful organisms in the country. This information should enable them to avoid systematic preventive treatments and limit the use of pesticides to those fields truly threatened.

Generalise agricultural systems requiring low levels of pesticides (section 2)

The network of farms in agricultural schools was mobilised in 2010 to experiment with systems requiring low levels of pesticides and thus prepare future training courses. In addition, a network of almost 1 200 farms, covering a wide range of agricultural products,  will be established in France and the overseas territories in the beginning of 2011in order to experiment, collect data and disseminate effective solutions on how to reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture.

Training (section 4)

Experiments on training and certification of professionals on the use of pesticides were run for over a year, during which almost 120 000 farmers were trained. Their attention was drawn to the impact of pesticides on users, consumers, the biosphere and water bodies.

Communication (section 8)

In conjunction with the Ecology ministry, Onema launched a campaign to inform gardeners on the risks represented by pesticides in gardens.

Research and development (section 3)

A number of studies have been initiated, dealing with alternatives to pesticides, decision-aid tools to improve and reduce their use, analysis of their impacts on water and the means to eliminate them.

Specific projects in overseas territories (section 6)

A number of specific experiments are underway in the overseas territories and local professionals are supported in their efforts to implement the plan.

Non-agricultural zones (section 7)

Professional users active in non-agricultural zones are in the process of drafting and making available technical documents intended for other professional users and gardeners.

Other funding (section 1)

Finally, Onema monitored pesticide sales via the centralised declarations of distributors to the Water agencies and prepared agricultural surveys on the use of pesticides for industrial crops and vineyards.