A Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture report highlights that if neonicotinoid seed treatments were no longer available, impact on the EU economy could be as great as €4.5 billion ($5.85 billion) with a loss of at least 50,000 farm jobs across the EU. Over a five-year period, the EU could lose up to €17 billion ($22.1 billion) and face a significant increase in pest pressure.
"These figures demonstrate the value this technology brings to EU farming", Friedhelm Schmider, Director General of European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) commented. " They contribute more than €2 ($2.6 billion) billion annually to commodity crop revenues, and reduce production costs by €1 ($1.3 billion) billion across the EU", he added.
The independent study confirms the economic and environmental value of seed treatment neonicotinoids for Europe. The report includes the example of Germany where oilseed rape growers rely highly on neonicotinoid technology to remain competitive in the global market; and Spain, where sunflower growers can achieve better yields through earlier planting.
The study underlines the importance of maintaining a range of innovative crop protection solutions for managing the pressures of pests and disease, and enabling efficient use of natural resources (land and water).
"The report has revealed substantial consequences for the economy and the environment if there would be constraints on the availability of neonicotinoid seed treatments" Friedhelm Schmider concluded.