Agrochemicals should be viewed as 'rural medicine': UMFFAAC

Editorial/Quadratin Mexico

Mexico City, April 16, 2024.- Agrochemicals should be viewed as “field medicine” because they are substances that have been manufactured through technological and scientific advances to maximize agricultural productivity by increasing crop yields per hectare and protecting them from pests and diseases. Which can affect and cause losses that may reach 40 percent.

This was stated by the Mexican Federation of Agrochemical Manufacturers and Processors (UMFFAAC) after pointing out that there are two types of agrochemicals, which are nutrients also called fertilizers and pesticides or phytosanitary products, which control agents harmful to the crop.

According to a statement, agrochemicals are currently tools that prevent agricultural frontiers from expanding and reduce the consumption of resources such as water, especially in the current drought situation.

The latest public report by the Agro-Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP) on the area under cultivation in Mexico in 2019, 71.8 percent used chemical fertilizers, however, there are states such as Sinaloa and Sonora, where the proportion of these agro-chemicals reaches 98.6. 99.2% of its area is agricultural.

UMFFAAC reported that according to the decentralized body of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Al-Sadr), thanks to the use of chemical fertilizers in the field, crop productivity has increased, which in a way eliminates the need to increase agricultural area. Because without it, more space would have to be allocated to agriculture.

It has also been proven that by using these agrochemicals it is possible to preserve soil and prevent its degradation, in addition to having the added advantage of contributing to increased production of raw materials for renewable energy.

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In this way, the rational use of fertilizers has positive and fundamental effects on soil fertility and the productivity and quality of crops in which these agrochemicals are used.

In the case of pesticides, they should be considered “plant medicine”, because they are the “treatment” against factors that attack your health such as diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses, thrips, nematodes, etc., and whose effect reduces performance, as is the case with insects and weeds.

All crops are threatened by diseases, pests and weeds, but weeds represent 41.6 percent of the total harmful organisms, taking into account the low yield and costs of controlling them, while the remainder of the total consists of other organisms such as insect pests. by 28.1 percent, diseases by 27.1 percent, and nematodes by 3.2 percent.

When a farmer has a sick plant, he resorts to agrochemicals, which are substances intended for pest control and, like any medicine, have a specific function and must be supplied according to the needs of the organism, in this case the plant.

For this reason, the UMFFAAC concluded that agricultural chemicals should not be demonized out of ignorance, but rather should be used in accordance with their labeling, reducing any risk that may exist to food producers and consumers.

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