ECONOMICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF INTEGRATED FRUIT PRODUCTION IN BELGIUM
In the traditional production of pip fruits a substantial quantity of pesticides are used. As the use of pesticides has a negative impact on the environment, the Bel-gian government decided to encourage integrated fruit production. A per hectare pre-mium was granted to fruit-growers that used the integrated production method. At the Centre for Agricultural Economics (CAE) the economical and environmental im-pact of the introduction of integrated fruit production was examined. Based on the data of the farm accountancy data network of the CAE, the use of pesticides was de-termined on holdings using this integrated production method and on those still using the traditional production method. It was found that the total use of active ingredi-ents of pesticides in the traditional production method of apples was one third higher than in the integrated production method. For pears there were no differences due to the total ban of chlormequat in 1999. Furthermore the profitability of the holdings was examined. No significant difference in profitability could be detected between the holdings of both groups. When the profitability of the two groups was compared in the years before integrated fruit production was introduced, no differences in profit-ability between the two groups was found. It can be concluded that a more general introduction of integrated pip fruit production can lead to an important reduction of pesticide use, and that this reduction does not affect the income of the fruit holdings.
Van Lierde, D. and Van den Bossche, A. (2004). ECONOMICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF INTEGRATED FRUIT PRODUCTION IN BELGIUM. Acta Hortic. 638, 411-417
IFP, apples, pears, pesticide use, profitability, farm structure, Flanders