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Farmers to protest proposed pesticide ban

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Cypriot farmers plan to protest against the proposal to further limit the use of hazardous pesticides across the European Union, saying this will bring “huge environmental consequences”.

The demonstration will take place on June 19 outside the European Commission in Cyprus, located in the capital. It is organised by farmers’ associations Pek, Eka, Panagrotikos and Evroagrotikos farmers’ union and new farmers’ movement as well as cooperative growers marketing union Sedigep.

The organisers have called on all farmers to join them with their double cabin vehicles.

Protestors will also submit a memorandum at the presidential palace.

If the new amendments on the EU legislation on Plant Protection Products (PPPs) is passed as it stands, then “mathematically most of the agricultural land will be abandoned, with huge environmental consequences”, the farmers’ organisations said in a statement.

The proposal for a regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products aims to reduce the impact of PPPs on both human and animal health as well as the environment.

It involves the EU-level reduction target for the use of the more hazardous pesticides to 80 per cent by 2030. Other amendments proposed include prohibiting the use of chemical plant protection products by non-professional users.

Furthermore, spraying is prohibited “in Natura 2000 areas, where there are dams, rivers, flora, fauna, sensitive and residential areas” while it also expands buffer zones, meaning the distance from the application area to where bystanders are located.

This provision means the loss of a huge percentage of agricultural land, some 79 per cent of what is left for farmers.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) aims to adopt its legislative report on September 11.

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