By Marga López, agrifood journalist. Responsible for Projects, Marketing and Communication in Siete Agromarketing.
I embark on the adventure of having my own corner for opinion, to analyze from a personal and professional vision, aspects related to agriculture and agri-food, issues in which my work, I move daily.
And I do so reflecting on the importance of Plant Health for agriculture, an aspect demonized by many but key to the future of the current agri-food system.
A few weeks ago I attended the Symposium of Plant Health organized by the Official College of Agricultural Technical Engineers of Western Andalusia, which took place in Seville. A congress, a priori very technical, but with presentations and round tables that not only agrifood professionals should listen to, but also all consumers.
We live with the challenge of feeding a growing population, concentrated in certain areas of the planet, demanding, who wants all products throughout the year, but how is that achieved? It is necessary to increase production.
According to José Ignacio Cubero, Professor of Genetics at the University of Córdoba, 10% of this increase in production will come from an increase in the cultivated area, but what about the remaining 90% ?. This must come to improve the efficiency of our crops and productivity. And there plays a key role Vegetal Health, the medicines of plants, essential to fight pests and diseases, and do it in a safe way.
But this reality clashes head-on with those who have found in “the traditional”, “the before” a discourse to attack any inclusion of technology or science in agriculture. With traditional systems, we will not be able to feed this growing population. It is not about destroying the environment, but about being respectful with it, minimizing any impact, respecting the environment and those who work in it, and thus achieve a more efficient agriculture.
On the other hand, never before as now the food has been so safe, with so much quality and so diverse, and for this we need the Plant Health.
But I believe that it is necessary that the agri-food sector reflects on the opinion that the consumer has about it, about what is communicated and what is not, and instead of adopting a passive stance towards those who defend that before It was always better, advocate transparency, to tell how it is produced, with what tools and technology, and how the use of science can guarantee the challenge of feeding the population of the future.
Say what you are and what you do, because if not, it will be others who will say what you are not.