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CropLife SA recently shared concerns regarding an upcoming policy issue of the European Union (EU), which may negatively impact agricultural practices, agricultural yields and therefore food security and trade in South Africa.

Read more about South African agricultural exports.

The EU is currently discussing a proposal to prohibit the production for export of chemicals banned in the EU. According to CropLife, the main challenges with this proposed policy are the following:

  • One size does not fit all — agriculture, pest, and diseases are different across regions and countries and such a policy disregards the various agronomic needs in other regions and countries.
  • It fails to safeguard a level playing field and does not close the gap between developed and developing countries.
  • It can lead to difficulties to source high-quality products and may displace the problem, as third countries who may have lower different production standards than the EU, would be filling the gaps in the provision of these banned substances; having negative impacts on producers and consumers’ health as well as on the environment.
  • This will almost certainly escalate the problem of illegal trade of pesticides, in developing countries.
  • Pesticides are not automatically “more hazardous” or “less necessary” because they are not authorised in Europe.
  • It would lead to a shortage of essential solutions to control key pests (on crops or for vector control).
  • Most countries have set up their own evaluation and authorisation procedures, and this power is taken away by such a unilateral action proposed by the EU.

Read more about South African citrus exports to the EU.

CropLife said in a statement: “The biggest concern is that this proposed policy could impact not just trade but also food security in our region. We would like to support a transition towards more sustainable alternatives, where such alternatives exist and within reasonable timeframes. A blanket ban with no consideration of the wider picture, in many developing countries may be disruptive.”

Have your say

All stakeholders have been asked to make their voices heard, through a public consultation process that the EU launched on 8 May and that will close on 31 July 2023.

More information on the proposed regulation can be accessed here:

Responses to the public consultation process can be submitted here: SA