Oct. 17, 2016
Overuse of pesticides is a practice that Chilean producers of leafy vegetables are increasingly aware of. The National Agricultural Research Institute, INIA, through its project, "Development and validation of a quality standard that applied by suppliers of leafy vegetables to the public and private sector in Chile gain access to domestic markets without limitations," recently held a seminar attended by over 250 people.
The results of studies in leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, cabbage, chard and spinach, were shared within the framework of this project, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture.
INIA and Agricultural Inspection Service -SAG- conducted studies to provide an overview of the phytosanitary management of leafy vegetables, and they concluded that producers tend to overuse pesticides, often with unnecessary applications despite pests or diseases remaining at low levels, and even when there is no significant economic damage to crops.
Field techicians from INIA agreed about the benefits of this assistance to farmers, because it explains the transfer of health aspects, installing extensions and practical knowledge about pesticides, greater selectivity, lower toxicity and proper management of pests and diseases. In addition, it helps to encourage farmers in the introduction of knowledge about integrated production with emphasis on Good Agricultural and Integrated Practices for Pest Management.
They further explained to farmers that safety in vegetables is an important issue. Since lettuce, spinach and chard are food the public consumes, important risks occur in the population due to the excessive use of pesticides.
Of note, the Valparaiso region includes 10,191 hectares, of which 2,156 are set aside for the cultivation of leafy vegetables, which makes up 20% of the total area for the growing of leafy vegetables in the country.