The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority has launched a public consultation document on a revised national plan – with the aim of strengthening the framework for community action to achieve sustainable use of pesticides.
The revised plan, which covers the period 2019-2023, has been developed taking into consideration social, economic and environmental impacts of former measures, as well as the public’s health.
The main objectives of the plan outline measures to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and to encourage integrated pest management and alternative techniques to reduce the dependency on pesticides use.
These objectives are supported by various measures, such as training, the provision of information and awareness raising among professional users, distributors, applicable stakeholders and the public.
This plan puts focus on measures of control such as inspections on pesticide application equipment in use and controls on handling, storage and disposal of plant protection products to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide on human health and the environment.
The comprehensive plan aims to ensure the reduction of pesticide use in specified areas such as protected areas, conservation areas, protected natural habitats, as well as areas used by the public, including parks and gardens, sports and recreation grounds, school grounds, children’s playgrounds and areas close to healthcare facilities. The plan also supports specific measures to protect the aquatic environment and drinking water.
This plan will support alternative low-pesticide-input management strategies, giving priority to non-chemical methods so that practice and products with the lowest risk to human health and the environment are selected, while promoting integrated pest management and organic farming.
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Rights, Public Cleansing and Support for the Capital City, Deo Debattista, said: “Consumers today are much more aware of the quality of food they eat and the risks to human health and the environment related to plant protection products. The NAP, in fact, addresses actions aimed at farmers, distributors and the public.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, Clint Camilleri, said the educational campaign on the correct and sustainable use of pesticides would involve surveys with farmers to identify the most common problems related to the use of pesticides farmers themselves encountered. He explained that a brochure aimed at educating farmers on how to apply pesticides to their crops would later be published. This would help farmers save money as it reduces overspray that is not needed on surfaces. Mr Camilleri concluded by saying that at Għammieri there would also be a facility for farmers to calibrate their spraying pumps.
Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority
Office for Consumer Affairs
MCCAA office hours for the public:
Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 12.30pm
European Consumer Centre Malta
(For complaints against traders in other EU states)
47A, South Street,
Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 3pm.
Tel: 2122 1901
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