United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Farmers

Statement by Farmers? Major Group by Sarala Gopalan
On Chemicals
CSD-IPM March 1, 2011
Mister Chairman,
Agriculture employs both biology and chemistry to produce crops. The use
of crop protection products has generated an abundant supply of food
and lowered food prices. Fertilizer has helped to increase yields and
sustains soils. Farming needs access to both, but as with all technologies,
proper use is essential. First and foremost, we would like to see
support for integrated crop, pest, and nutrient management. These
are best practices that ensure application of the right amount at the
right time and in the right manner.
The use of crop protection products presents several risks for both farmers
and environment. The undesirable side effects are a consequence of
indiscriminate use and overuse of crop protection products and fertilizer.
Especially in developing countries, enforcement of safety standards leave
much to be desired.
Farmers need regulation, awareness campaigns, specific training and
education in order to learn about proper use of crop protection products,
as well as fertilizer. We encourage farm input companies, as well as
governments, to do more on training. Improved awareness of careful
management practice can lead towards sustainable farm production. For
instance, use of manure and compost in conjunction with mineral fertilizer
can lead to proper soil management and even conservation of water.
It is therefore important to encourage access to appropriately-sized and
priced products, plus best practices on their use, and availability of
alternative products. Labelling programs that give farmers the option of
organic production and access to related markets is an important element
of choice.
These are mechanisms that promote socially, environmentally and
economically sustainable practices in the use of crop protection products
that contribute to sustainable production patterns. Farmers want to be
partners for sustainable development. Our goal is to foster methods that
encompass environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and food security.