The Dutch Government has published a high level strategy document on a vision for crop protection in the Netherlands by 2030.
The plan focuses on three pillars: resilient growing systems; integrating agriculture with nature; and nearly eliminating environmental emissions with minimal residues on produce.
Improving plants’ resistance to pests and disease through the breeding of new varieties and traits is central. To this end, the strategy suggests that there should be greater flexibility in EU rules, or even changes to them, to allow easier and wider use of new genetic techniques for breeding.
With new plant varieties, and wider adoption of Integrated Pest Management techniques, the plan foresees that the need for pesticide use will be greatly reduced. However, where use is required, precision pest-detection and product application technologies will ensure pesticide use is minimal.
The strategy also recognises that farming will need to remain financially viable and suggests incentives to help farmers move to new approaches.
An implementation programme will be brought forward in summer this year that will outline in more detail how and when the aims will be met.