Syngenta to boost pollinators across Europe
Basel, Switzerland, Syngenta announced the roll-out of a 5-year EUR 1 million program to provide essential habitat and food sources for pollinating insects across Europe. ‘Operation Pollinator’ aims to boost the numbers of native pollinating insects across seven European countries: Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Hungary.
Operation Pollinator will enable growers to cultivate wild flora that are favored by pollinating insects on the edges or near fields of commercial farms. Growers will be provided with seed mixes, along with innovative pesticide use practices and agronomic advice designed to benefit pollinators. The program is based on independent scientific research and progress will be assessed annually by an independent scientific auditor.
“The number of pollinating insects has declined significantly across Europe in recent years because of loss of feeding sites and breeding areas,” said Jon Parr, Head of Crop Protection EAME at Syngenta. “Our aim is to help reverse this trend by creating an additional 10,000 hectares of dedicated habitat for pollinators. This will show that environmental sustainability and modern farming can coexist, which is critical for doubling global food production by 2050.”
Operation Pollinator is based on the success of Operation Bumblebee in the United Kingdom. Within three years, this Syngenta project increased bee populations up to 600% and contributed to the regeneration of rare species such as Bombus ruderatus, previously on the verge of extinction. Butterfly population rose 12-fold and there was a 10-fold increase for other pollinating insects.
Pollinating insects are crucial for many natural habitats and the production of a majority of food crops. More than 80% of European crop types depend directly on them, including many fruit and vegetables. The value of pollinating insects to the European economy is put at EUR 5 billion annually, whilst it is estimated that they are worth EUR 150 billion to global eco-systems every year.
More information on Operation Pollinator
Syngenta is one of the world’s leading companies with more than 24,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com or www.growmorefromless.com.
1. The Buzz Project (2001-2006); managed by the Farmed Environment Company, monitoring by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), sponsored by Syngenta.
2. European crop types dependent on pollinators: Ref: Williams, I.H. (1994) The dependence of crop production within the European Union on pollination by honeybees. Agricultural Zoology Reviews 6: 229-257. Value of native bees to European farmers: Ref: Borneck, R. and Merle, B. (1989) Essaie d’une evaluation de l’incidence économique de l’abeille pollinisatrice dans l’agriculture européenne. Apicata 24: 33-38. Value of pollinators globally: Gallai, N., Salles, J.M., Settele, J. and Vaissiere, B.E. (2008) Economic valuation of the vulnerability of world agriculture confronted with pollinator decline. Ecological Economy.
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