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Minister calls for lower agchem use in Brazil

Brazil needs to lower the use of agricultural pesticides. That is the conclusion of Minister of Rural Development Pepe Vargas, official news agency Agencia Brasil reports. The Minister intends to set sustainability criteria covering water, soil and the use of inputs in the help the Ministry gives to the smallholder agricultural production sector, he told an audience last month during the UN Sustainable Development conference, Rio+20. Mr Vargas believes pesticide use reductions are “easily” achievable in the smallholder sector, which he says accounts for 70% of all Brazil’s food needs. The Brazilian agrochemical market became the world’s largest in recent years ( Agrow No 638, p 21).

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