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 19th Newsletter is available
Read about the last CEGs and HEG and ReEG meetings held in 2024 first quarter.
Click here to access the 19th
Newsletter of the MUCF.