The “EcoPhyto Plan” was launched by French government, experts, civil society, industry professionals and official agencies in 2008 in order to reduce the use of pesticides while maintaining high yield as well as high quality in agricultural production

What Are These Project Goals?

The main goal is to reduce  the use of pesticides and plant protection product in France by half by 2018, if possible.
114 measures were planned and organized around nine items. The annual budget of this project is 41 million euros.
The first step is to educate and communicate known techniques for more effective use of plant protection products.
Moreover improving and updating information given to farmers  on the current state of crop diseases and pests with a view to improving treatment, will help to reduce and adapt practices.
Finally, agricultural research is needed to develop less chemical protection for crops.
In order to measure this reduction, a reference indicator for monitoring progress has been defined through discussions between experts, civil society, industry professionals and official agencies. This is the number of dosage units (NODU) which calculates the quantity of pesticides active substances sold. The NODU indicator makes an assessment of the usage intensity of plant protection products.

Ecophyto - To Reduce and Make a Better  Use of Phyto

Ecophyto – To Reduce and Make a Better Use of Phyto

Who is Concerned?

From the non-professional gardener to the professional farmer, the Ecophyto Plan has potential to affect a wide range of individuals
On September 3, 2010, the French mayors association agreed upon the Ecophyto outline. The agreement means that they will help improve knowledge, promote better garden maintenance management, supporting alternative practices and reduce their own pesticide uses.

© Min.Agri.Fr

© Min.Agri.Fr

Assessment After Three Years

The “Ecophyto 2018 Plan” assessment took place on October 9, 2012. The meeting allowed the organizers to summarize three years of efforts and initiatives. We can keep in mind following measurements:

  • A pilot farms network brings currently together 1,900 farms. This network is called “FERME” (FARM). All the French agricultural sectors are represented. It is a way to show alternative agricultural production methods with a reduced amount of pesticide.
  • An experimental farms network , called “EXPE”, is composed by 41 farms. This financed project tries to find out and develop alternative practices.
  • A network composed by 42 schools of agricultural education tries to teach and show alternative agricultural production methods, using fewer plant protection products.
  • The epidemiological surveillance network assesses the phytosanitary situation and helps farmers to adapt and focus their treatments. In 2012, 13,000 plots of land were followed by 4,000 observers. 8,000 plant health bulletins have already been published all over the country.
  • A web platform “EcophytoPIC” is nearly ready to  launch, with guides written by experts and other tools that could help professionals and introduce to them alternative solutions aiming to reduce the use of pesticides uses as well as individual successful projects, etc.
  • More than 200,000 professionals  have already been trained and obtained their “Certiphyto”, which certifies that the professionnal is able  to use pesticides in a moderate and efficient way.
  • A good practices guide for sustainable management of garden maintenance  was published in 2010 in order to help local governments.
  • A communication campaign was launched in 2010 in order to highlight the need for {{non-professional gardeners to also be conscientious of sustainability.

A New Step For “Ecophyto Plan” :

Five major lines in order to reshape the “Ecophyto Plan” were decided during the October 9, 2012 assessment meeting:

  • Identifying goals and means for French agricultural production areas and kind of crops in order to mobilize and give a sense of responsibility to each actor,
  • Development of biological control (eg. introducing predator insects to destroy pest populations) as alternatives as pesticides,
  • A tax system in order to incite the moderate use of plant protection products,
  • Professionalization and independancy of technical expertise  given to farmers in order to help them reduce their plant protection products and pesticides uses,
  • Reinforce controls  in order to reduce illegal and fraudulent importations of plant protection products.
©Xavier Remongin/Min.agri.fr

©Xavier Remongin/Min.agri.fr

To learn more about this subject:

The national action plan Ecophyto 2018 in English:

The English summary of the 2010 report:

Progress Report: