The Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture reports that if neonicotinoid seed treatments were no longer available, impact on the EU economy could be as great as $6 billion with a loss of at least 50,000 farm jobs across the EU.
In addition, the study states that more than one million people are engaged in arable production and their livelihoods would suffer greatly if this technology were lost. On average, farmer income would decrease by 5%. However, the study says in many areas and for many farmers the loss would be much more severe. Over a five-year period, the EU could lose up to $22 billion and face a significant increase in pest pressure.
“These figures demonstrate the value this technology brings to EU farming,” Friedhelm Schmider, director general of European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) commented. “They contribute more than $2.6 billion annually to commodity crop revenues and reduce production costs by $1.3 billion across the EU,” he added.
The figures are derived from a study done by Steffen Noleppa (Agripol) and Thomas Hahn (A-connect). The independent study, which began in the spring of 2012, analyzed 10 EU countries and focused on six crops (corn, sugar beet, oilseed rape, wheat, barley and sunflower), confirms the economic and environmental value of neonicotinoids for Europe.
The study team engaged and interviewed farmers and industry experts across Europe to identify areas where neonicotinoids play a particularly transformational and important role and where, consequentially, a loss of this technology would have the most severe impact. Together with these stakeholders and based on previous economic studies, the authors developed business cases that showcase the detailed value of neonicotinoid seed treatment technology.
Such examples include Germany where oilseed rape growers rely highly on neonicotinoid technology to remain competitive in the global market; And Spain, where sunflower growers can achieve better yields through earlier planting.
“The report has revealed substantial consequences for the economy and the environment if there would be constraints on the availability of neonicotinoid seed treatments,” Schmider said.
For more information on this report, go to http://www.neonicreport.com/home/project-compass/.