Globalization of pesticide technology and meeting the needs of low-input sustainable agriculture

F. den Hond*, P. Groenewegen, W. T. Vorley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The focus of this paper is the challenge to technology development in the international pesticide industry. We address these challenges within the context of debates on how to achieve an environmentally and economically sustainable world food production system. Forces acting within and upon both pesticide manufacturers and the agri-food system are moving toward globalization and standardization. Main issues on sustainability in agriculture are protecting and improving agricultural resources (e.g., preserving and restoring soil and water quality). This places greater emphasis on diversity, regional self-reliance, reduced chemical dependence, and greater community involvement. A small but rapidly growing movement in local food systems is evolving in parallel with globalized agribusiness. It offers new opportunities for private sector developments of technologies and services. These opportunities could be interesting for companies that are struggling to retain profitability in a stagnant and commodity-oriented pesticide market. Our question is whether the pesticide industry is structurally capable of developing innovations in products and services for these new local/regional markets to ensure more diversified and sustainable agriculture. Our conclusion is probably not, but if the industry were capable of doing so it would first need to acquire a thorough understanding of how organic farming systems function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalPest Management Focus
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Agrichemicals
  • Crop protection
  • Organic farming


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