Home - Themes - Preserve water quality - Reducing the use of pesticides


    -Annie Davy\Mayor of Bédée(Ile-et-Vilaine department)
    "To improve the quality of water in the Meu river and restore aquatic environments, the river-basin board has made efforts to inform, train and raisethe awareness of many stakeholders...."

Reducing the use of pesticides

The goal of the national Ecophyto 2018 plan is to cut in half, within ten years if possible, the use of pesticides in order to protect the health of consumers and farmers, but also to preserve the quality of water, soil and biodiversity. The 2009 national budget provided Onema with the means to fund certain elements of the plan and in 2012, over 40 million euros were devoted to the project.

The projects funded by Onema in the framework of the Ecophyto plan target collective efforts of value on the national level. This financial aid fills out that provided by the Water agencies that grant individual assistance, notably to farms. Below are some examples from 2012.

Plant-health reports

Over 3 100 «plant-health reports» were published in 2012, following examination of over 13 000 fields. The reports provide farmers and their advisors with the information required to improve use of pesticides and consequently limit the application of phytosanitary products to the fields truly threatened by bioaggressors. Systematic, preventive treatment can thus be avoided.

Network of model farms

In 2012, another 695 farms (bringing the total to 1 900) joined the DEPHY Ecophyto network of model farms demonstrating crop systems requiring lesser quantities of pesticides. The objective of the farms, organised in groups of approximately ten, is to promote the new crop systems as well as acquire and share data on the new systems.

Training and certification of professional pesticide users

In 2012, over 260 000 professionals participated in training courses and obtained their certification for pesticide use. Their attention was drawn to the impact of pesticides on users, consumers and the environment. Since the start of the training programme in 2009, almost 400 000 professionals have been certified.

Dissemination of good practices

The two Ecophyto platforms designed to inform on good practices have been filled out with new sections and feedback on experiments. The first platform is intended for amateur gardeners, the second for professional users of pesticides and managers of parks.


Two information campaigns were launched, one targeting amateur gardeners and promoting alternative techniques, the second targeting the general public and the farming sector. The objective of the second campaign was to 1) inform on the Ecophyto plan and its achievements, 2) establish dialogue between farmers and the general public, 3) reinforce confidence in food quality and 4) enhance the standing of the plan.

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