To produce more in less land, to reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture, to harvest abundant, healthy and safe food with the help of science and technology are some of the pillars of "Modern Agriculture", which today is transforming much of the Agricultural areas of Latin America.

However, we live in a scenario where modern agriculture is misunderstood and undervalued in large cities and urban areas despite receiving ALL of its benefits on a daily basis. This situation requires those of us who work in the agricultural chain, to act in order to raise awareness and win the trust and recognition of consumers.

If consumers ask which are the controls and regulations of the agrochemical sector, we can categorically inform them that it is one of the most regulated sectors in the world and that they can appreciate and trust the work of the regulatory authorities, which permanently evaluate the registration processes or permission to sell for each product. There are many controls and studies that the authorities in each country demand as support for each pesticide before it reaches the market.

The regulatory agenda for crop protection products has a solid foundation in science, and advances alongside the latest scientific discussions, reflections and findings. It is an arduous and intense work that allows access to new technologies that meet the rigorous security requirements for health and sustainability. In 2016 we emphasize the transparent and constant dialogue that we had with the authorities; these are processes of mutual understanding that result in the introduction of new products developed with state-of-the-art technologies, to meet the demands that farmers need to control pests and ensure safe and high quality harvests.

A challenge for the authorities that today demands more attention is the illegal trade in pesticides. Pesticide smuggling, counterfeiting and adulteration are a growing problem with negative consequences for human health, the environment, the crops and the economy. In 2016 the United Nations Interregional Crime Agency (UNICRI) estimated that at least 15% of the global pesticide trade corresponds to illegal products. It is imperative to combat organized crime effectively, for which coordination between national authorities, agricultural guilds, industry and international agencies is essential.

If the consumer asks what happens to the empty pesticide containers in the field, we can tell him that Latin America is a world leader in the recycling of these plastics, and that in some countries the authorities design post-consumer legislation that gives co-responsibility to the users for the correct disposal of these materials. In 2016 Argentina and El Salvador moved forward with legislative proposals in this area.

Food safety is one of the major concerns of consumers today, and we can give them the assurance that today we have multiple endeavors to promote a better implementation of Good Agricultural Practices in crops of all scales. Today farmers are more aware of the importance of the safety of their harvests as never before in history. In 2016 our training sessions on the responsible use of products for farmers, pesticide applicators and distributors gained greater coverage through partnerships with other organizations. We must add the boom of digital applications for agriculture, whose efficiency is made possible by the increased access to mobile internet in Latin America.

With modern agriculture new development opportunities are opening up for rural communities, for farmers at all levels of production and for consumers who demand abundant, healthy, safe and affordable food.

This task of informing the consumer and gaining their trust has only just begun. Be part of this effort in every conversation and opportunity that you can, become a promoter of modern agriculture as a fundamental socio-economic activity for development. 

Join our #El Agricultor Primero (#First Farmer First) Campaign. If not you, who?

 

Eduardo Estrada

Chairman of the Board of Directors

 

José Perdomo

Executive President

 

Letter of CropLife Latin America Presidents, in the Annual Report 2016 – 2017. To see the Annual Report 2016-2017 of CropLife Latin America click here.