Because of the extensive data packages required for authorization to market plant protection products, growers face increasing difficulties in gaining authorization for “minor uses”. Minor uses of pesticides are uses on niche crops with a high economic value for farmers, but usually of low economic interest for the agro-pesticide industry. This leads to a lack of authorized products on the market for farmers to use on these crops which in turn can lead to illegal uses or to loss of crop production. These crops include most vegetables, fruit, nurseries, flowers, forest trees and some arable crops. It is estimated that overall they represent more than € 70 billion per year, which equates to 22% of the total EU plant production value.
To address this problem in a more coherent way the European Commission (EC) has established the EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility (MUCF). The Facility started as of 1st September 2015 and is hosted by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) in Paris.
The mission of the Facility is ’to enable farmers in the EU to produce high quality crops by filling minor uses gaps through efficient collaboration to improve availability of chemical and non-chemical tools within an integrated pest management (IPM) framework’.
Initially, the Coordination Facility was jointly funded by the EU and the governments of France, Germany and the Netherlands. On 15 April 2018 the Grant Agreement with the European Commission expired. Since 15 April 2018 the MUCF is fully depending on voluntary assessed contributions from Member countries (EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland).
The Coordination Facility liaises with all Member States, growers associations and other organizations active internationally in the field of minor uses, such as OECD and IR-4 project. The Coordination Facility stimulates and supports further harmonization e.g. in relation to crop group and pest group definitions and is in the process of developing guidance documents.
The Coordination Facility is maintaining the European Minor Uses Database (EUMUDA) as a key structure to identify minor uses gaps, share information on them and cooperate to find solutions. The launch of the new EUMUDA took place on 28 June 2017.
The Coordination Facility is working on the development of non-chemical and IPM routes to solve minor use problems together with Commodity Expert Groups. In that respect the Coordination Facility will establish a strong link with research networks on IPM (C-IPM ERANET).
The autumn meetings of the HEG and CEGs will be held from October 13th till the end of October remotely by videoconference due to Covid-19 situation.
|9 to 10 September 2021, Schifferstadt, Germany
Feldtage DLR Rheinpfalz
|7 July 2021, Virtual meeting, France
French Commission on Orphan Uses (CUO ) and the Operational Technical Committee (CTOP)
|1 to 2 July 2021, Virtual meeting, Europe
36th Meeting of the OECD Working Party on Pesticides
|14 June 2021, Virtual meeting, Europe
EPPO Working Party on Plant Protection Products
|14 June 2020, Virtual meeting, Europe
PAFF Committee, section Phytopharmaceuticals – Pesticides Residues