French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll announced April 19 that he was increasing the resources available to France’s Ecophyto 2 plan, in an effort to reduce and improve the use of plant protection products like pesticides, to 71 million euros. Initially, the plan was funded with 40 million euros.
France’s Ecophyto 2 plan aims for a reduction in the use of plant protection products by 25% by 2020 and 50% by 2025. The plan establishes certificates for Plant Protection Product Reduction, which will set reduction targets for users of plant protection products.
The minister indicated that the 30 million euros in additional funds will directly help agriculture producers achieve the ambitious goals laid out by the Ecophyto 2 plan. Collectively taken actions will be given a priority in disbursing these funds.
The Ecophyto 2 plan will place more of an emphasis on actions that actively improve the health of agricultural workers and a call for proposals on research and innovation will be launched shortly.
The plan will be assessed by indicators. These indicators will notably include an indicator with 4 parts (research-innovation, consultation-development, agro-ecological diagnostics, and the evolution in the quantity used) as well as an indicator on pest pressure.
Additionally, the plan will include the NODU (Number of dosage units) indicator, which method takes into account both the overall quantity of plant protection products used as well as the intensity of the products used. The NODU links the quantity of each active substance to a dosage unit that allows one to measure the intensity of the use of products independently of possible substitution of active substances by new efficient substances at weaker doses. In doing so, it allows for a better understanding of the evolution of agricultural practices over time.
Mr. Le Foll said that all of tools and means necessary were now available for the success of this innovative, ambitious and unique plan on the European level.