Challenges to Responsible Agrochemical Management
The indiscriminate use of agrochemicals on crops can contaminate water and soils and threaten crop production. Therefore, posing a threat to the environment and the source of livelihood for millions of smallholder farmers. Heavy or overuse of agrochemicals can also be harmful to the farmers and workers applying them, and to consumers that potentially consume them, through pesticide residues in food. Agricultural value chains also have reason for concern, as there are potential reputation risks in not addressing these issues, specifically regarding non-compliance to regulations on maximum pesticide residue levels acceptable for public consumption.
We convene local, national and international public-private coalitions, to build a sector governance which supports better management of agrochemicals. These coalitions can develop and support the implementation of improved protocols and standards (e.g. packages of practices), as well as policies and regulations. The result of this can improve sector governance and build an enabling environment, to support better managing pesticide use at farm level.
We also prototype the development of IT tools that enable the collection of data and generation of information on high-risk agrochemical practices in supply chains. This can enable data-driven decision making and provide transparency towards supply chain actors and the market. The development and implementation of such tools will be trialled in our landscape program in Vietnam and in the aquaculture sector.
Training farmers plays an important part in improving knowledge and competence at farm level. The training curricula used builds on the protocols and standards developed through public-private dialogue. When responsible agrochemical practices are adopted, they can positively impact farmer profitability, health of farmers and workers, food safety, reduced ecosystem impact, and market access for sustainable produce.
To cultivate better business practices relating to agrochemicals, IDH works to actively improve farmers’ access to responsible agrochemicals and champions the embedding of sustainability at corporate level. We do this through improved service delivery to farmers, resulting in better access to less toxic agrochemical products, and by increasing market demand for sustainable produce.
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