Facing tighter pesticide restrictions, Italian fruit growers hope biotechnology can help protect their orchards

Workers picking fruit in Italy. Credit: Picture-alliance/DPA
Workers picking fruit in Italy. Credit: Picture-alliance/DPA

Fruit growers are on the alert. 

“Once again we fruit growers find ourselves facing …. the consequences of other people’s decisions,” says fruit producer Lorenzo Chiericati, member of the executive committee of Confagricoltura Ferrara: 

“The EU review process on usable agropharmaceuticals in agriculture has effectively removed most of the molecules active against plant diseases …. Our orchards are facing increasingly massive attacks by an aphid, the woolly aphid, a fearsome parasite of the apple tree present in every part of the world ….”

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We need pesticides to defend our orchards, just as drugs have helped protect human health over the centuries. On the one hand, agriculture will have to feed billions of people, but on the other hand, there has been an absurd demonization of the use of pesticides for some time. 

“The use of science is increasingly urgent,” concludes Chiericati, “and in this regard the new biotechnologies represent the turning point that everyone hopes for. They are already able to provide concrete answers to sustainability concerns …. Let us use them.”

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted in Italian and has been translated and edited for clarity.

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