Interim Evaluation of the Policy Document On Sustainable Crop Protection

25-01-2007 | Publication

Crop protection methods in the Netherlands have become more sustainable since 1998 as a result of efforts made by growers. However, at the moment the environmental quality of surface waters does not meet the statutory standards. Without measures directly aimed at tackling the substances of greatest concern and the sources of pollution arising from crop protection, the desired water quality will not be achieved by 2010 throughout the whole country.

Interim Evaluation of the Policy Document On Sustainable Crop Protection

Background

In the policy document on sustainable crop protection the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality state that crop protection policy will be subject to an interim evaluation. At the ministries’ request, this evaluation has been carried out by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP). In cooperation with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), RIKILT Institute of Food Safety and the Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI), the Agency has examined whether the policy is being implemented on schedule to achieve the stated targets for 2010, or whether the policy needs to be adjusted.

Major Conclusions

Crop protection practices has become more sustainable. The interim target for the environmental burden on surface waters by agriculture and horticulture has been achieved, but water quality standards are still exceeded. The quality of surface water as a source of drinking water has improved, but not enough to meet the interim target. The evaluation period has proven to be too short to draw a conclusion for food safety. No facts have been uncovered that indicate a loss of economic prospects for Dutch agriculture and horticulture.

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