2021 was characterized by a rapid embrace of new agricultural technologies in Latin America, such as the application of agrochemicals with drones, advances in biotechnology and gene editing, and the adoption of tools to advance precision agriculture. All these developments contribute directly to progress towards agricultural sustainability and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The challenges continue and for new technologies to be available to farmers, it is necessary to insist on modern regulatory frameworks, with evaluations based on scientific criteria. In 2021, there were several initiatives that pursued, without scientific basis, to prohibit and/or restrict the use of molecules. The quick action of CropLife Latin America and its associates, the technical support, and the evidence of data presented allowed these initiatives to be archived for the benefits of farmers who require these technologies for their crops.
We also saw in 2021 a growing interest on the part of the authorities in the negative effects of the illegal trade in crop chemicals, which has been increasing, and which needs to be combated with more determination, and at the same time foster a culture of legality in the region.
In 2021, our contribution to the circular economy in the region materialized, through the CampoLimpioSM program, with the recovery of more than 78 thousand tons of plastic, of which 50% was recycled and the rest went to energy recovery. In addition, more than 230,000 farmers, agricultural technicians, and agronomists were trained in Good Agricultural Practices with the CuidAgroSM program.
Added to these efforts is our action to actively participate in the work groups that promote free trade and allow the export potential of Latin America to be increased. With this objective, we follow up on the European policy of the Green Deal and the Convention on Biological Diversity, and we create spaces for rapprochement between agricultural producers, authorities and diplomatic missions to seek a greater understanding of the needs and particularities of the agriculture, in many cases tropical, of Latin America.
We thank the Network of National Associations, the authorities and all the work teams of the companies that have supported this effort.
President, CropLife Latin America
Chairman of the Board of Directors CropLife Latin America Senior Vice-President Agricultural Solutions Latin America at BASF
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REGULATORY AGENDA AND SUSTAINABILITY
REGULATORY AGENDA AND SUSTAINABILITY
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1 CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN PREPARE TO IMPLEMENT HARMONIZED LABELING OF AGROCHEMICALS
CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN PREPARE TO IMPLEMENT HARMONIZED LABELING OF AGROCHEMICALS
In August 2021, the Central American pesticide labeling standard came into force, approved within the framework of the Central American Customs Union, which is voluntarily adopted by other Caribbean countries, which notably facilitates trade in the region.
In the first part of the year 2022, registrants get ready to register the new labels as provided by the standard.
2 COSTA RICA ADVANCES IN IMPROVING THE REGULATION OF AGROCHEMICALS
COSTA RICA ADVANCES IN IMPROVING THE REGULATION OF AGROCHEMICALS
Regulatory improvements in Costa Rica had a dynamic agenda in 2021, the year in which the decree that modernizes its registration system for Technical Grade Active Ingredients (TGAI) came into force, recognizing the registrations made in OECD countries, so a more efficient process is expected. Likewise, after long consultations between the authorities and the registrants, the discussion of a new standard for the registration of the formulated product was concluded, which is expected to come into force as soon as possible in 2022.
3 APPLICATION OF THE ANDEAN STANDARD AND GLOBAL HARMONIZED LABELING
APPLICATION OF THE ANDEAN STANDARD AND GLOBAL HARMONIZED LABELING
Together with the CAN (Andean community of nations) General Secretariat, the national authorities of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, the national associations and CropLife Latin America held workshops to advance the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). In accordance with Technical Manual 2075, as of February 2025, all pesticide labels must comply with the requirements established in the aforementioned System.
During the year 2021, InnovAgro and CropLife Latin America held various meetings with the regulatory authorities of Ecuador, to explain the progress of the project that seeks to establish the Re-entry Intervals to the crop areas treated with pesticides, in accordance with the guidelines established by the EPA, which are based on risk criteria. This initiative seeks to comply with the provisions of the First Temporary Provision of Andean Decision 804.
CropLife Latin America, Procultivos and InnovAgro, with the technical support of the firm Waterborne, concluded the Environmental Risk Assessment project - Second Phase, through which tools were developed for the staggered evaluation of environmental exposure of pesticides in water in key crops of Colombia and Peru.
The rapid adoption of drones in crops requires analysis of the regulation on the use of these unmanned vehicles for use in agriculture. For this purpose, CropLife Latin America and the Network of Associations held workshops in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador, as well as a regional webinar with technicians, users, authorities, and industry.
The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture issued regulations on the use of drones for the application of agrochemicals.
Good Agricultural Practices in the use of drones and possible regulations will be part of the 2022 agenda.
7 LABEL WARNING STATEMENTS
LABEL WARNING STATEMENTS
CropLife Latin America and Procultivos, with the support of renowned international experts, developed the Guide on the potential carcinogenicity of chemical pesticides for agricultural use, which was adopted by the National Institute of Health. It is expected that in 2022 the Guide can be analyzed and implemented in other countries of the region.
Ongoing is the joint work between authorities and agricultural producers to solve the problem of Maximum Residue Limits, which are in decline in the European Union, becoming an obstruction to international agricultural trade. The crops that may be affected are bananas, coffee, avocado and grapes, among others.
CropLife Latin America supported the National Associations of Chile, Paraguay and Colombia in holding workshops and meetings bringing positions between the public and private sectors closer together. A topic that will continue with a dynamic agenda in 2022.
In 2021, the Agreement entered into force upon receiving the approval of the minimum number of countries required, including Mexico and Argentina. However, countries that led its negotiation such as Costa Rica, Chile and Colombia have not yet ratified the instrument and question it, so its impacts wait to be verified in those countries.
CropLife Latin America presented the conference AGRICULTURE 4.0, on the importance of innovation in agriculture and the protection of intellectual property, at an event of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
By 2022, the monitoring of international discussions will be key, especially those of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Access to Genetic Resources.
11 SEMINAR ON ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF TOXICOLOGICAL EVALUATION
SEMINAR ON ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF TOXICOLOGICAL EVALUATION
This event was held in Paraguay under the coordination of CAFYF and the support of CropLife Latin America, aimed at regulatory affairs personnel of companies and regulators of the National Service for Plant and Seed Quality and Health (SENAVE). The seminar sought to strengthen local capacities for evaluation.
In Uruguay, the local association Camagro maintains constant communication with the authorities of the Administration of Agricultural Services to modernize the registration processes of phytosanitary products. Among the most relevant points of the joint work are those related to improving the confidentiality of the information, the protocolization of the registration and renewals process, the incorporation of human resources by the agency to streamline the processes and the improvements in the control and aspects related to combating illegal trade.
13 CENTRAL AMERICA ADVANCES IN THE ADOPTION OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
CENTRAL AMERICA ADVANCES IN THE ADOPTION OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
In Honduras, a new edited vegetable was approved as conventional and genetic editing trials in bananas are moving forward.
Costa Rica approved five biotech cotton events.
Guatemala approved the first edited vegetable as conventional and is getting ready to analyze and approve the first biotech seed registration applications in 2022.
Due to an effective technical and scientific argumentation, two constitutional actions did not prosper in Guatemala and Costa Rica, which hindered access to new technologies. The same thing happened with a bill for a moratorium on Living Modified Organisms, LMOs, in Costa Rica.
In 2022 El Salvador and Panama will be evaluating their regulatory frameworks for the documentation of their processes for the adoption of biotechnology and edited products.
In 2022, the final text of the Global Biodiversity Framework will be approved, which includes proposals of interest in the areas of biotechnology (Digital Sequence Information, and Access and Benefit Distribution) and agrochemicals (use reduction goals). CropLife Latin America, in coordination with CropLife International, has been training the authorities of the countries to help them establish national positions, duly informed, vis-a-vis the proposed goals and indicators.