Integrated Pest Management in Portugal: from Policies to Practices

Integrated Pest Management in Portugal: from Policies to Practices ( Vol-2,Issue-5,September - October 2017 )

Author: Cristina Amaro da Costa, Maria do Céu Godinho, José Lima Santos, António Mexia, Pedro Amaro

ijeab doi crossref DOI: 10.22161/ijeab/2.5.33

Keyword: farmers’ attitudes, indicators, motivations, sustainable farming practices.

Abstract: Integrated pest management is an ecosystem approach to crop protection that combines different control methods to reduce pesticide use and to obtain safe food products with lower environmental impact. It has increased in Europe and since 2014, it is mandatory for farmers as a basis for their crop protection strategy. Using the Portuguese context as a case study, the evolution of integrated pest management adoption is analyzed. Country statistics and survey-based data are used to highlight technical differences among farmers, their motivations and attitudes that give rise to environmental benefits and food safety. A survey was applied to vineyards and apple and pear orchards in integrated pest management and in organic and conventional farming. The collected data were related with farmer profile, farm description, farmers’ motivations towards sustainable farming practices, technical itinerary and practices related to pesticide use. A total of 177 questionnaires were applied. Integrated pest management farmers are motivated to adopt biological, biotechnical and cultural solution, even if more expensive, and to give up toxic pesticides, to reduce agricultural impacts, while producing healthier and safer products. Practices that affect crop protection and soil conservation varied between agricultural systems, and can be used as lessons to improve their quality.

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