The ambitious goal is ambitious: 75% of pesticides want to save farmers, with a yield loss of at most 10%. As part of the project "PestiRed", launched by IP-Switzerland, the Association of Producers of Integrated Production, and Agroscope, the federal center of competence for agricultural research, 130 companies in total cantons of Geneva, Vaud and Solothurn will be closed over the next six years. collaborate with researchers to develop "innovative farming systems".
In the canton of Solothurn, 21 companies have applied to participate in the project. They are accompanied by the Wallierhof educational center. The Confederation and the canton (following the decision of the Governing Council which will take place after the summer holidays) will provide financial support to the project to compensate for any loss of income and costs borne by farmers. Andreas Wyss, board director of the Wallierhof, summarizes: "We will gather farmers' practical knowledge and research to develop new ideas on how to limit the use of pesticides."
Why is the canton of Solothurn involved in the project? "Because we are waiting for new innovations and we liked the project," says Wyss. The products for the treatment of plants are not very respected in the population and would in part have a long-term negative impact on the environment, informs Wyss. As part of the project, it will increasingly resort to "natural regulatory mechanisms" and will only spray pesticides if there is a threat of significant damage. Thus, the mass effect in farmers is more important because the use of pesticides is not completely prohibited, as is the case in organic farms.
The threshold for inhibiting participation is so low because conditions are much less stringent than for organic farms. By natural regulation mechanisms, for example is meant a voluntary rotation of crops: if one does not drive directly after corn after wheat cultivation, one can minimize the infestations of harmful organisms, says Wyss. For the consumer, the project and the new cultivation method would have little or no impact, according to Wyss.
Since a maximum power loss of 10% is expected, the increase in the price of the products would rise to a maximum of 10%. Once the project is complete, products treated with the least possible pesticide will carry the label bearing the IP logo, the red ladybug.