On the 10th December, EISA (The European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture), held a European hearing on ‘Food Safety and Security’ and pushed the case for Integrated Farming.
The group tackled a range of issues such as population growth (estimated to increase by 50% to 9 billion in about 40 years) loss of productive agricultural land, increasing demand for animal protein in emerging markets, growing demand for bio-energy and increasing environmental legislation. Integrated Farming was seen as the way forward to meet these challenges.
The meeting heard that the availability of productive land will decrease dramatically to roughly 1 700 m2 per head of world population in 2025. According to EISA, Integrated Farming as a high yielding, efficient, environmentally friendly and socially acceptable production system, provides a realistic and achievable solution to meet these challenges.
Robert Study MEP, who co-chaired the hearing said:
“Europe is number one in the world in terms of agricultural sustainability and we must continue to raise our already high standards in vital areas such as energy efficiency, waste disposal and water management.”
EISA Chairman, Tony Worth added,
“The attention to detail demanded by an Integrated Farming approach has never been greater. Integrated Farming is a balanced and holistic system of farming, ensuring a profitable farming involving efficiency of inputs, care for the environment and better management of our precious natural resources.
Integrated Farming will see farmers through these fluctuating and difficult times and help ensure that consumers have access to high quality and affordable food.”
Andreas Frangenberg, Technical Director of EISA, supported Mr Worth’s view and noted that,
“The site specific nature of Integrated Farming allows for better and smarter use of limited resources right across the EU.”
During later discussions, the European Parliament Rapporteur on the sustainable use of plant protection products, Christa Klaß MEP, supported Integrated Pest Management as an important element of Integrated Farming and applauded the work of EISA.
- EISA (The European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture) was established in 1994. It is an alliance of national agricultural associations which promote Integrated Farming in the EU. Current members include Germany, France, Sweden, Luxembourg, Austria and Hungary. For more information on EISA and a copy of the Framework for Integrated Farming, please go to www.sustainable-agriculture.org
- Tony Worth, Chairman of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), the UK organisation promoting IFM, is currently the Chairman of EISA. For more information on LEAF go to www.leafuk.org
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