The Alliance for Agriculture and Cooperation, which brings together the organizations LAPAR, the National Federation PRO AGRO, UNCSV, and the APPR Forum, organized a press conference on Friday, January 27th, 2023 at 11:00 in the Auditorium of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences "Gheorghe Ionescu-Sişeşti" (ASAS) in Bucharest.
The main purpose of the conference was to defend Romania's right - as an EU Member State - to issue emergency authorizations for the temporary use of neonicotinoid insecticides under the European Regulation implementing the Framework Regulation on the placing of pesticides on the market.
What do we want to achieve? The Alliance for Agriculture and Cooperation calls on the Government of Romania and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to take all necessary steps to ensure that Romania can continue to use the seed treatment with neonicotinoid insecticides (based on Art. 53 of Regulation (EC) 1107/2009) until the crop protection industry brings to market another molecule that provides at least the same efficacy as neonicotinoids against soil pests specific to the Black Sea basin.
Why do we want this? Because Romania is the first producer of sunflower and maize and the third producer of seeds for these crops in the EU. If farmers lose the right to effectively protect their fields, they will no longer be able to cultivate these two important crops, which would spell economic disaster for the Romanian agricultural sector and, implicitly, will jeopardize the food security of its export partners within and outside the EU.
Under these conditions, it is essential to ensure the availability of neonicotinoid seed treatment in the toolbox to be employed when the Economic Damage Threshold (EDT) is reached. Crop rotation alone cannot keep pest populations under control and plant protection products have a scientifically recognized role in Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPM).
We therefore strongly support the use of neonicotinoids in Romanian agriculture. At the same time, during this meeting, the Alliance highlighted the fact that Romania has specific pedoclimatic conditions that differ from those of most EU countries, and therefore the agricultural technologies used here are different from those used elsewhere. At the same time, it was emphasized that Romanian farmers are actively also looking for solutions to reduce their environmental footprint and to meet the ambitious ecological standards and societal expectations proposed EU-wide.
As farmers, we have expressed and continue to express our concern for ensuring food security in Romania, and also in the EU. Romanian agricultural producers are proudly part of the big family of European farming organizations and ought to defend the resilience of their businesses in the EU economic market.
After this event, we believe that the Romanian State, through all its institutions, must take a firm position in defending the interests of its farming industry, and the European institutions, when proposing environmental policies, must take into account regional specificities, including those of Romania, the 5th largest country in terms of agricultural utilized area, after France, Spain, Germany and Poland - and equal to Italy.
The Alliance for Agriculture and Cooperation, on behalf of the four organizations, hopes that, by organizing this event, has succeeded in highlighting the importance of the approach undertaken. At t,e same time, in full transparency and commitment, it appeals to consumers, the general public, and the authorities to join this initiative, to support the activity of Romanian farmers, and to strengthen Romania's position as a steady supplier of safe, quality food.