An EU secretariat has now been set up to share information and experience and coordinate Member State work on making more plant protection products available to growers for minor uses and specialty crops.
Such niche crops may be of a high economic value for farmers, but are usually of low economic interest for the agro-pesticide industry, according to a press release from the new EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility.
Its mission is “to enable farmers in the EU to produce high quality crops by filling minor uses gaps through efficient collaboration to improve availability of chemical and non-chemical tools within an integrated pest management (IPM) framework.”
As of September 1, Jeroen Meeussen has been the coordinator for the new EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility. Speaking from his office in Paris, Jeroen said he looks forward to the challenge of improving co-ordination between countries, grower organisations and industry to develop solutions for minor uses.
“One of my priorities will be to liaise with applicants, growers, Member States and other relevant stakeholders. I will also be drawing on experience from other minor use projects around the globe,” he said.
Jointly funded, initially, by the EU and the governments of France, Germany and the Netherlands, the facility is hosted by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) in Paris. The EU has committed to provide 50% of the costs for the first three years.
The main task of the facility will be to address gaps in pest and disease control measures available for so called ‘minor crops’ and for minor pests on other crops for farmers as well as for gardeners.
Visit the new EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility website.
More articles on minor uses here.