The Government must regulate the use of plant protection products for seed production

«In Italy there is no clear picture regarding the treatments in the field for the growth and development of seed production. It is necessary to remedy "

Ravenna, March 5, 2021. The representatives of the seven Farm Workers' Cooperatives of Ravenna and Legacoop Romagna unanimously ask for the regulation of the use of phytosanitary aids in the cultivation of plants for the production of seeds. In 2020, CABs dedicated 45% of their land to seeds. It is 5,296 hectares, of which 2,825 hectares of soft wheat, durum wheat and barley, 1,386 hectares of alfalfa and ryegrass, 400 hectares of oil crops, 255 hectares of horticultural and vegetable nurseries, 245 hectares of coriander and 185 hectares of chard. Numbers that demonstrate the strong vocation of the Romagna area towards crops that require advanced technologies and professionalism, which represent an opportunity for producers and which are also exported all over the world (in particular Northern Europe, Japan, South Korea and China). The seeds are mostly cultivated according to the specifications for integrated production, although the land dedicated to organic seeds is also starting to grow, also in the wake of political guidelines that veer in this direction. On January 1, 2022, the new EC Regulation 848/2018 on organic farming will come into force which, in addition to regulating organic seeds, will strongly recommend their use, aiming, hopefully, at overcoming the current system of exemptions that allows the use organic farming even seed not certified organic. An important step for the sector, which will be added to the provisions of the new Italian law on bio, given that the European strategies aim to reach 25% of agricultural land in organic farming by 2030. The will is clear, however it shows criticality.
«The seed sector is a niche for which the existing plant protection devices on the market are not always authorized and there are no market incentives to develop new ones. For this, a much greater commitment by the institutions is required for an ad hoc regulatory framework for their sustainable use and greater investments in public research ", declares Stefano Patrizi, manager of the agri-food sector of Legacoop Romagna." Also in this field - underlines Massimo Bondi , director of Promosagri - a fair valorisation of productions remains uncertain, without which any discussion on sustainability is in vain, while it is essential to promote certified quality seeds to contain plant diseases and keep the quality of seed production high ». The CABs in trying to reach the objective of 25% of agricultural land cultivated organically, with an important effort from the current 16%, are willing to invest in the production of organic seeds, especially if there is the political will to overcome technical problems , as in the case of the absolute ban on the cultivation of parallel crops, which often hinder the development of organic products in contrast with the general guidelines.

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