Categories News, Non classé

CropLife AME team attended a sensitization and capacity building workshop in Ghana

CropLife AME team attended a sensitization and capacity building workshop, organized by the pesticide regulatory authorities in Ghana (Ghana Environment Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with CropLife Ghana.

On June 22, 2023, Sylvain Ouedraogo from the CropLife AME team participated in a sensitization and  capacity-building workshop organized by the Ghana Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with CropLife Ghana. The workshop aimed to educate and empower staff (prosecutors and other officers) from the Department of Public Prosecution of the Attorney General’s Office (AG-DPP). Media representatives and members of CropLife Ghana also attended this important event.

The workshop was a response to the recent revision of the Ghana Pesticide Act, which now allows for the prosecution and imposition of deterrent penal sanctions and measures against the trade and handling of illegal pesticides. This revision marks a significant milestone as counterfeit pesticides have a devastating impact on human health, agriculture in Africa, and the environment. Such counterfeit products are often of poor quality and may contain harmful chemicals that can damage crops, pollute the environment, and pose risks to human health.

Categories News

CropLife Africa Middle East MENA Regional Hub Meeting in Amman

CropLife Africa Middle East MENA Regional Hub Meeting in Amman, Jordan on the topic of “Agricultural Innovation: Challenges and Solutions Towards Sustainable Food Systems

On 11 & 12 July 2023, CropLife Africa Middle East held its Middle East North Africa Regional Hub Meeting in Amman, Jordan, under the banner “Agricultural Innovation: Challenges and Solutions Towards Sustainable Food Systems.”

The objectives of the meeting were to:

  • Ascertain the status of regulatory frameworks for biologicals and critical challenges for rebuilding sustainable food systems;
  • Establish mechanisms to accelerate the registration of biologicals in the MENA region;
  • Exchange ideas and practices for the future of stewardship, including personal protective equipment adoption management and resistance management;
  • Share the latest sustainable policy developments in the EU that may impact trade in agricultural commodities between the MENA region and the EU.

CropLife Africa Middle East and AMATPA (Agricultural Materials Traders & Producer Association) were honored to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jordan Ministry of Agriculture, showing the significant role of agricultural innovation moving forward in ensuring food security and improving farmers’ livelihoods.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants for their presence, notably representatives from our hosts, the Jordan Ministry of Agriculture, other regulatory authorities from the MENA region, industry and CropLife network.

Some critical messages from the meeting – Day #1:

Transforming Regulatory Framework for biologicals in the MENA region:

Access to biological products is critical as an additional tool in the farmer’s hands to fight pests and diseases. Yet, regulatory frameworks to facilitate their registrations are still largely in progress in most MENA region countries. Country representatives resolved to foster information exchange amongst themselves and to put in place policies, laws, regulations, guidelines and administrative instruments that recognize the types of products, ensure a reduced data requirements package, risk-based approach and have a fast-track system.

Persisting challenges in stewardship in the MENA region:
  • PPE adoption in the MENA region is a challenge due to the unavailability on the market, the climate in MENA region, which makes it uncomfortable for farmers to use PPEs, and ignorance/lack of training.
  • Governments should create an enabling environment for the sale/importation of PPEs and provide opportunities for awareness creation.
  • The role of the industry and CropLife towards PPE adoption should consist in raising awareness, providing training, and creating linkages with the government and other key industry stakeholders to ensure effective end-to-end awareness creation on the use of PPEs.
  • What will shape stewardship in the future for more effectiveness are the use of behavior science and technology to increase impact, innovation and technology – digital stewardship, drones, biologicals, incident management driving down incidents through improved data focussing responsible use, building on stewardship platforms to include promotion of sustainable agriculture.
Resistance management is vital to IPM, and CL AME takes resistance management seriously. However, there is limited knowledge of pest resistance.
  • There is a need to assess the need for resistance management in the MENA region–scoping study.
  • Policy or Regulatory measures are needed to support resistance management efforts – Mode of Action labeling, awareness.
  • Agricultural institutions and policymakers must utilize the expertise of IRAC/RACs in resistance management to benefit of agriculture, especially in the developing world.

Below our key takeaway messages from day #2 of CropLife Africa Middle East Regional Hub Meeting under the banner of “Agricultural Innovation: Challenges and Solutions Towards Sustainable Food Systems”, in Amman, Jordan.

Day #2 :

When it comes to pesticides safety:
  • It was noted that vector control is a cornerstone for preventing insect-borne illness – a leading cause of death in the world for people ;
  • Vector control is also critical for managing invasive species which crowd out indigenous plants & animals, demolishing habitat and biodiversity ;
  • There is a need to control insects, as insects and arachnoids turn out to be the #1 cause of morbidity & mortality worldwide affecting humans and livestock ;
  • Regarding residues in our foods, a 55kg-adult needs to eat 11 pounds of soybean/day to reach ADI. – it is the dose that makes the poison; e.g., botox can be a hazard but its not a risk if you use the right dose.
Regarding policy developments – notably the EU Green Deal:
  • Green Diplomacy, Environmental trade criteria, EU exports ban will impact food security in the MENA region, trade with the EU, and farmers' livelihoods;
  • Countries around the world are provided with opportunities to voice their concerns about the impact of such policy developments in their own country (through EU public consultations, WTO) – it is key to seize these opportunities;
  • Transitioning towards sustainable food systems is needed, but such transition should be tailored to the Middle East's region uniqueness, as pests, agronomic and climatic conditions vary across regions - a 'One size' approach does not fit all.
  • CropLife AME calls for an Africa-localized green transition
Communication is key, and it is the foundation of sharing information:
  • What: there is a need to think critically and not shy away – we need to communicate externally about the sector's 'truth vs. myths' ;
  • When: there is a need to communicate at the right time;
  • How: it cannot be assumed that science is enough – there is a need to connect people to science;
  • Communication is not a one-size-fits-all approach either. It should be early, and impactful with the objectives of dialogues.
Categories News

CropLife Africa Middle East visit CropLife Zambia in Lusaka

In June, our colleague Robert from CropLife Africa Middle East had the opportunity to visit CropLife Zambia in Lusaka. Together with Ernest Muzukutwa, CEO of CropLife Zambia, they visited the Empty Pesticide Container (EPC) aggregation site at Agri Wes Centre in Mkushi District, Zambia. This site serves as a collection point where commercial farmers in the area responsibly deposit their triple-rinsed and punctured EPCs for further processing. The containers are shredded into chips and then transported to a recycler located in the Lusaka district.

This initiative exemplifies effective empty container management. The plant science industry, both globally and in Africa Middle East, has implemented stewardship initiatives to responsibly handle the entire life cycle of products, including the management of empty containers. Through programs like the Empty Container Management Program, recycling of these containers is promoted, leading to reduced emissions and supporting the shift towards a circular economy. By extending the lifespan of resources within the economy, we contribute to a more sustainable future.

Categories News

Meeting in Nairobi on the Sustainable Pesticide Management Framework (SPMF)

On 16th May, CropLife Kenya & CropLife Africa Middle East held a productive Town Hall meeting in Nairobi on the Sustainable Pesticide Management Framework (SPMF). With 54 participants from the CropLife Network, regulatory authorities, and industry partners, the SPMF aims to revolutionize responsible pesticide management over five years. Through regulatory collaborations, enhanced poison information reporting centers, container management programs, and anti-counterfeit efforts, the SPMF fosters an environment of innovation and responsible pesticide use. It has been launched in Kenya (2021) and Morocco (2022). The meeting assessed progress since Kenya’s launch and discussed the next steps for each of the SPMF Pillars. We’re committed to reducing reliance on Highly Hazardous Pesticides, driving innovation, and ensuring responsible and effective pesticide use.

Categories Positions

CropLife Africa Middle East Position Paper on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)

CropLife AME (CL AME) calls on the EU to base its MRLs setting system on evidence and science, which has proven to be very effective in ensuring consumers’ safety. MRLs setting should
be done according to the EU “Better Regulation” principle, which ensures evidence-based and transparent EU law-making based on the views of those who may be affected. More precisely:

  • CL AME calls for the sustainability agenda to be tailored to national specificities. CL AME advocates for an Africa localized green transition while always maintaining a safe and secure supply of foods, which should be non-negotiable. Every country is best placed to assess the environmental impact of pesticide use that they choose to authorize for their farmers, based on their unique sustainability objectives and challenges, requiring the use of diverse methods, tools and technologies to sustainably meet the world’s growing demand for food and feed in the face of climate change. CL AME believes that a safe and secure supply of food can be ensured with the help of plant science tools including crop protection products that are recognized for their longterm and essential role in sustainable agriculture, food safety and food security.
  • CL AME supports MRLs based on Codex MRLs, or Import Tolerances, established via independent scientific risk-assessment, and encourages all governments to adopt Codex MRLs for global alignment and trade purposes. These should be science-based food safety standards that protect consumers’ health and fair-trade practices.
  • CL AME calls for ‘mirror clauses’ to be compatible with WTO rules and based on solid internationally recognized science.
  • CL AME calls for adequate transition periods when decreasing MRLs. Any policy or change of national standards should be communicated with sufficient notice with information on transitional measures, for example via public websites. Transparency and predictability are of the utmost importance for the whole food industry, in exporting as well as importing countries.
  • CL AME calls for MRLs setting system that focuses on ensuring consumers’ safety, as the environmental safety of pesticides is thoroughly assessed during the authorization processes; therefore, there is no necessity to expand the scope of existing MRLs regulations beyond consumer protection to environmental considerations. In addition, we strongly believe that global challenges, such as environmental concerns, should be addressed at an international level, through fora that have been set up to facilitate multilateral discussions and decision-making, such as at Codex Alimentarius.

The trend of decreasing maximum residue levels is a major threat to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Africa Middle East region. CL AME believes that getting
the sustainable growth agenda right in agriculture is essential and therefore welcomes the ambitions of improved and more effective MRLs.

Using MRLs, however, as a tool to unilaterally drive environmental sustainability is not something we support. We believe that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to sustainability, and the means should therefore be tailored to a country’s agricultural specificities and trade needs. Therefore, considering the increasing tendency of the European Union (EU) to decrease MRLs and import tolerances, CL AME would like to recall the following:

  • While there is a need for a sustainability agenda to be rolled out in all countries, each transition must be tailored to a country’s agricultural and trading specificities; that is why CL AME supports an Africa localized green transition in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As CL AME, we promote sustainable agricultural practices and food systems, utilizing the best mix of tools and techniques to achieve more sustainable production as well as to meet countries' individual needs based on their geographic location, agronomic conditions, and environment.
  • MRLs should be science and evidence-based in order to ensure that food products are safe for consumers, as per the ‘Better Regulation’ principle. Data shows that when the decision-making process follows a science-based risk assessment, consumer foods are safe. The setting of MRLs should therefore remain independent from political agendas.
  • In addition to ensuring consumers’ safety, MRLs should be science-based for predictability and smooth trading practices. Lowering MRLs without adequate transition periods based on political agendas, can lead to administrative burden, trade disruption and a loss of confidence between trading partners.

1- The Africa localized green transition: the need for sustainability agendas that should take into consideration countries’ agricultural and trade specificities

The challenges that agriculture faces in Africa range from climate change, food security, water scarcity, inflation of fuel prices, trading and export uncertainties and restrictions (and many
more). These challenges are currently only being exacerbated by the impact, and likely future impact, of EU regulations.

By adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach for sustainability the EU is not considering the climatic and agronomic conditions of the Africa Middle East region and the impacts that their changes will have. There exist many examples where it is necessary to use certain types of plant protection products (and in various quantities) to combat local pests and needs. The blanket approach discriminates against agricultural exports of products from many African and Middle Eastern countries.

2- Science-based MRLs ensure a safe, consistent, and vital supply of food as part of healthy and balanced diets

A maximum residue level is the highest level of a pesticide residue that is legally tolerated in, or on, food or feed when pesticides are applied correctly (cf. Good Agricultural Practice). With
MRLs based on robust scientific assessment, authorities ensure that the amounts of residues found in foods are safe for consumers and are as low as possible. For example, according to
the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) monitoring report on residues that is published every year, about half of all samples in the EU are free of detectable residue traces. In the remaining half (45%), residues found were within the legal limits (maximum residue levels or MRLs)1 ; such data shows that pesticides are applied according to Good Agricultural Practice and therefore that foods are safe because they are always below, or within, the MRLs set by EFSA.

Considering this lack of science-based evidence showing that such limits are not safe, it is unclear why there is a need to further decrease MRLs. More worryingly this is done with little
regard for how farmers should protect their crops going forward. It takes considerable time, work, research and resources to place new products on the market. Additionally, as farmers are the first line of defense in minimizing residues through good agricultural practices, the industry is taking responsibility by implementing and rolling out programs to train farmers in how to safely use pesticides. When used properly, pesticides are safe, and ensure that consumers have access to a safe supply of foods which are part of a healthy and balanced diet.

3- MRLs are key to many African country’s economic growth objectives and to the achievement of their Sustainable Development Goals targets

In addition to ensuring consumer safety, MRLs are in essence trading standards and the cornerstone of agricultural trade, as crops cannot be legally traded if they exceed MRLs. The
lack of globally harmonized MRLs is already a challenge for farmers, as they must comply with MRLs in both exporting and importing countries. It is key that MRLs are based on evidence and science and remain independent from political agendas.

CL AME is particularly concerned by the trend of ever-decreasing MRLs in the EU as part of the EU Green Deal. This is notably due to the possible deletion of existing MRLs for nonapproved active substances in the EU (so called ‘mirror clauses’) as well as the possible setting of MRLs with new data points such as environmental factors, especially when the latter is based on the use of the precautionary principle and not science or evidence-based2 .

CL AME notes that the environmental safety of pesticides is thoroughly assessed during the authorization processes; therefore, there is no necessity to do so in the setting of MRLs. Such
practices by the EU raise serious questions about the consistency of their measures. EU regulations are already more trade restrictive than necessary to fulfil a legitimate objective, as being based in essence on the precautionary principle. They also fail to consider Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for legal uses in non-EU countries. The continued decrease of MRLs will cause further trade disruptions (contrary to WTO principles), a deterioration of relations with trading partners and additional administrative burden.

Finally, the decreasing trend of MRLs not only affects the agri-food exports to the EU, it also has a detrimental effect on the agricultural production of African and Middle East countries,
and consequently their food security and the region’s stability. CropLife Africa Middle East A.I.S.B.L is a non-for-profit industry association representing the leading global manufacturers of pesticides, seeds and biotechnology products in its territory. The regional association was registered in Brussels in November 2002 and represents today more than 20 national associations across its region. The association is legally fully y independent but maintains a strong link with the global CropLife network (

Source :

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  • The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)’s Q&A on its neonicotinoid review findings of 2018 in which « The information on this phenomenon is somewhat limited, but EFSA concluded that, in some cases, bees might still be exposed to harmful level of neonicotinoids pesticides through this route », show an excessive use of the precautionary principle, non-science based -

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