Biological pest control agents deemed promising in Belarus
MINSK, 9 October (BelTA) – Belarusian experts believe that biological methods to protect plants from pests are viable. It is necessary to develop these methods in Belarus, Vasily Zhukov, Director of the Veterinary and Food Control Department of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry, told media in Minsk on 9 October.
The official took part in a session of the group of experts of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. He remarked the idea of using biological methods to protect plants from pests and diseases was very topical. It is topical for Belarus, too, where the chemical method is prevalent now.
Vasily Zhukov remarked that like many other countries Belarus is interested in making the transition to using biological methods. He added that at present the share of biological methods in the total volume of plant protection against diseases and pests is only about 2%. “Therefore, we have a wide field to work on,” he said.
So far the method is not widely used in Belarus although its share is rising year by year. According to Leonid Pleshko, Director of the Central Inspection for Seed Breeding, Quarantine, and Plant Protection, the biological method is now used in various areas in Belarus. In particular, it is used by greenhouse centers, particularly in the initial phase of vegetable production. Belarusian specialists also use it to fight the European corn borer and other pests.
According to Ringolds Arnitis, Director General of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, the method is used in Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland where greenhousing is wide-spread. He believes that the method is viable in Belarus.
Asked why the biological method to protect crops is appealing, Ringolds Arnitis explained that pesticide usage in agriculture is falling across the globe. Natural food is growing more and more popular. “Therefore, we are seeking methods to provide people with quality food,” he said. The official remarked that efforts of individual countries should be more coordinated in this area.
The session of experts of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization took place in Minsk. It gathered representatives of 14 countries, namely Belarus, Belgium, the UK, Hungary, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Norway, Russia, Slovenia, France, Czechia, and Switzerland.
The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization is a regional organization in charge of uniting national quarantine and plant protection organizations of European and Mediterranean countries. The organization is focused on promoting international cooperation in the quarantine of plants and in applying plant protectors. Belarus joined the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization in 2002.
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