Cyprus is looking forward to the adoption of a ‘rational’ compromise for pesticides regulation, the House of Representatives announced on Tuesday.
Agriculture committee chairman, Giannakis Gabriel, said that rational regulation would ensure food sufficiency and sustainable production while also reducing the use of pesticides to protect human health and the environment.
Gabriel was one of the main speakers on the topic during the interparliamentary session on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) held on Monday in Zagreb. Representatives of EU member state agriculture committees at the conference, presented initiatives taken by their legislative bodies and raised CAP issues.
Gabriel presented the opinion submitted by the House in July, regarding the proposal for regulation of plant protection products (PPP).
He noted that in the light of mass protests by Cypriot farmers citing unfavourable conditions created by the proposed EU regulation, the agriculture committee decided on ex officio examination of the matter and convened a series of meetings to listen to the intense concerns of agricultural organisations on the island.
Gabriel pointed out that the House committee shares the reservations expressed by several national parliaments, and farming organisations across the EU, about aspects of the proposal.
The committee chair reiterated the need to take into account the specificities of each EU state and the difficulties faced by the primary sector in Cyprus, given that some pests cannot be effectively combated without pesticides. He also pointed out that extreme weather events in Cyprus related to climate change, contribute to the rapid proliferation of organisms harmful to crops.
The Cypriot MP further underlined the need to redefine the term “sensitive areas” (in which a complete ban of PPPs will apply), pointing out that indiscriminate use of the term will have a disproportionately negative impact on agriculture in Cyprus.
Gabriel said that implementing the proposal in small member states, such as Cyprus, would bring a disproportionate burden on those states’ competent authorities and farmers.
He called for greater flexibility at a national level and for consideration of the possibility of making available additional EU funds to cover the increased costs to prevent passing the burden onto consumers.