CABI helps China cut pesticide use

CHAP partner CABI has published a working paper looking at the impact of agricultural policies with a specific focus on subsidised sustainable biological controls.

The research has shown that the organisation’s Plantwise programme played a key role in reducing China’s reliance on more harmful pesticides.

The paper, implementing Agri-policies on Pesticide Reduction through Subsidies and Plant Clinics in China by Dr Yan Qiao, of the Beijing Plant Protection Station, with CABI’s Dr Min Wan and Dr Stefan Toepfer showed Plantwise plant clinics to be a ‘sound example of successful agri-policy implementation’.

Wei et al analysed more than 72,000 ‘prescription forms’ from in excess of 6,000 farmers in the Beijing area and showed that prescriptions for non-chemical plant protection products increased by 20 percent while prescriptions for pesticides decreased by 4 percent.

The results follow the creation of a new online tool, the ‘Beijing Pesticide Reduction Management System’ (BPRMS), as an extension of the ‘Plantwise Online Management System’ which manages prescription data, subsidies, plant clinics and agri-input shops and suppliers.

The plant clinic involvement led to a better reach of smallholder farmers, and facilitated a change in their agricultural practices leading to a reduction of problematic pesticides.

Dr Toepfer, working under the auspice of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) – CABI Joint Laboratory for Biosafety, said, “The combination of pesticide reduction policies, subsidies and effective agricultural extension services such as plant clinics appears to be a good example of successful agri-policy implementation.”

For the full story go to Plantwise.

CHAP’s International Pest Horizon Scanning capability is a global programme led by CABI, which helps farmers in five countries lose less of what they grow to plant health problems.

CABI’s Plant clinics, of which there are 100+ in China, are a meeting place where local agricultural advisory officers, known as plant doctors, help farmers struggling with plant pests and diseases. They provide diagnoses and management advice for any problem and any crop.

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