On 13 November, 2014, a Parliamentary delegation established by the Prime Minister and led by the President of the Ecophyto governance committee visited Irstea's dedicated spray science facilities in Montpellier.
The aim of the Ecophyto plan, launched in 2008 by the French Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-food and Forestry, has not changed: to halve pesticide use in agriculture in 10 years. However, in light of disappointing interim results, the Prime Minister has tasked Dominique Potier (President of the Ecophyto governance committee) with proposing a second, revised version of the plan.
This is the context in which the members of the delegation will, on November 13, come to see the work of Montpellier's scientific teams on the optimization of pesticide application processes.
Indeed, one of the possible new directions for the plan is the development of effective techniques for pesticide application that are respectful of human health and the environment. Improving these techniques would ultimately reduce pesticide discharges by avoiding excess doses and excessive dispersion of products outside of agricultural plots.
During this visit, the Evasprayviti test bench and the ReducPol platform in particular will come under the spotlight.
• Evasprayviti is the only test bench of its kind, and received an award for innovation at the International Exhibition for the Vine-Wine, Fruit-Vegetable and Olive Growing Sectors (SITEVI) in 2013. Developed in partnership with the French Vine and Wine Institute, this flexible artificial vine enables the assessment of sprays and also product losses into the environment.
• ReducPol Platform: an impressive platform. It contains no less than 3,000 m² of complete and original equipment dedicated to assessing the quality of spray material application, and the leakage of these products outside the application field.