Reducing the use of agrochemicals plays a key role in protecting and promoting pollinators. This, however, is a joint responsibility of farmers, scientists, businesses, policy makers, retailers and consumers. Various measures have been identified to reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture, including agro-ecological farming system design, crop rotations and mixed cropping, setting conducive policies and promoting organic farming (for details see the briefing paper: Reducing pesticide use and risks - What action is needed? http://assets.helvetas.org/downloads/briefing_paper_pesticide_reduction_...).
A very promising approach is to replace pesticides by biocontrol means. Recently there have been major developments in this sector (see http://www.ibma-global.org/). In a panel discussion with representatives from the biocontrol industry, civil society, retailers and policy makers we look at the potential of biocontrol to reduce pesticide use, and how to further enhance its use (see www.helvetas.ch/pesticides). Check the site for updates on this topic!
Senior Advisor Sustainable Agriculture
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation