China to Promote Bio-pesticides Vigorously
China to Promote Bio-pesticides Vigorously
Bio-pesticides use organisms or their metabolites to control harmful animals and plants or to reduce the extent of their hazards. Compared with chemical pesticides, bio-pesticides have the following advantages. First, they are highly selective and are safe to humans and livestock. Bio-pesticides that are now widely used act only on pests and are relatively safe to humans, livestock and aquatic organisms. Second, they have small environmental impacts and are relatively safe to the environment. The active ingredients of bio-pesticides are derived from natural ecosystems and can easily be decomposed by sunlight, plants and various soil microbes. Third, they can be recycled and have low carbon dioxide emissions. Currently, the raw materials of bio-pesticides in China are mostly from agricultural products and other renewable resources. The production of bio-pesticides is a cycle of materials that come from nature and finally return to nature. This can greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Some bio-pesticides come from a variety of plants that contain insecticidal and fungicidal active ingredients and are endlessly renewable.
Fifty years ago, China began to study bio-pesticides. Currently, China has more than 30 bio-pesticide research institutions. China's bio-pesticide R&D is already world-class. The country also leads the world in fermentation technology, with more than 240 bio-pesticide manufacturers. Their annual output is about 120 000 tons in total, and their sales value accounts for about 5% of the total sales value of pesticides in China.
Currently, there are more than 80 types of registered bio-pesticides and more than 2 500 registered bio-pesticide products in China. In other words, China has generally developed and produced any bio-pesticides that other countries have developed and produced. Among these bio-pesticides, a number of new ones, such as validamycin and lividomycina that were independently developed by Chinese scientists have been put into mass production and have been widely used in pest control for crops for many years. China's production levels of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) active ingredient and validamycin active ingredient have reached the levels of the United States and Japan, respectively.
Although the development of bio-pesticides has a good foundation in China, the research, development, production, promotion and application of bio-pesticides here is not up to the requirements of modern agricultural production and environmental protection.
Because bio-pesticides have not been widely promoted in China, their market shares and profit margins are relatively small. So bio-pesticide enterprises can hardly grow large. Although there are more than 240 bio-pesticide enterprises in China, only 4 - 5 of them are middle- or large-size enterprises. Without outside investment their product quality and economic efficiency can hardly be enhanced quickly. This has seriously constrained the overall development of China's bio-pesticide industry.
So experts have put forward the following suggestions to the Chinese government:
(1) Work out a bio-pesticide development plan as soon as possible to propose specific objectives, steps and supporting measures for the development of the bio-pesticide industry.
(2) Strengthen the promotion of bio-pesticides in China. Use various means to publicize and promote bio-pesticides and enhance the awareness of bio-pesticides among farmers and grass-roots agricultural technicians.
(3) Take effective measures to first promote the large-scale use of bio-pesticides in vegetables, fruit trees, tea trees and urban parks and gradually replace or reduce the use of chemical pesticides in them.
(4) Establish national demonstration areas for bio-pesticide applications. For example, the government should promote bio-pesticides in Hainan Island and Chongming Island and build them into green islands that use little or no chemical pesticide.
(5) Increase policy support. Because some bio-pesticides are costly, the government should offer necessary subsidies to farmers to encourage them to use bio-pesticides. The government should give preferential policies to bio-pesticide producers in the aspects of coal, electricity, taxes, etc.
(6) The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture should include the promotion and application of bio-pesticides in its campaign of professional pest control and prevention, and take measures to support them.
(7) The government should increase investment in the industrialization of bio-pesticides, encourage the research, development and application of new bio-pesticide products and new technologies and encourage the merger and reorganization of bio-pesticide enterprises to create conditions for large-scale industrial production of bio-pesticides.
(8) In product registration procedures and requirements, the government should treat bio-pesticides differently from chemical pesticides and should simplify registration procedures and reduce registration costs.