MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay is making “serious and responsible efforts” to use pesticides “in a more environmentally appropriate” way, Vicente Plata, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative in the South American country, said on Monday.
Plata participated in a forum on Good Agriculture Practices organized by the FAO and several government ministries to discuss ideas about responsible agricultural development.
Over the past 15 years, Uruguay has experienced “big agricultural growth,” creating challenges for the best use of pesticides, the FAO official said.
“Uruguay tackled the issue early on, but the country still faces challenges and is dealing with them with good institutional coordination,” Plata said.
Pesticides are used in different situations in Uruguay, such as in the cultivation of non-irrigated lands where there is “extensive use of pesticides,” which are being used well in some areas while there is “still room for improvement” in others, Plata said.
The use of other methods, such as gender confusion among insects, has led to an almost 80 percent reduction in the use of pesticides in fruit orchards, the FAO official said.
“There is a ways to go yet in horticulture to achieve more environmentally friendly use of pesticides,” Plata said.