The Specialty (Minor) Crop Problem
- Specialty crops are high-valued, internationally traded commodities, but new plant protection products (often more targeted and lower-risk) are not widely available to farmers.
- Plant protection manufacturers often do not have economic incentive to generate residue/efficacy data necessary for registrations or MRLs.
- Some governments have created “minor use” programs to generate this data in order to obtain new products for their farmers – this mechanism is very important when needing to quickly address emergency pest/disease outbreaks.
- Generating data is expensive – no country can work on this alone. If data from one country is used to establish international MRLs (Codex), the MRLs may not be relevant to grower needs/use patterns in another country.
Partnerships are Essential
- Generating data in several countries, at the same time, together, helps farmers gain new products quickly.
- Joint work saves money, as costs are shared between several countries.
- A wider distribution of data ensures that Codex MRLs are more relevant to all farmers across the world.
- If coordinated with IR-4 projects, joint work will ensure that U.S. MRLs are also established.
- Provides regulators with more robust data.
- A network of partners across the world will work together to generate residue data necessary for local registrations and establishing MRLs (Codex, U.S., other national).
- Annually, partners and stakeholders will discuss farmer priorities for new pest control products and MRLs needs, while sharing new or potential pest threats that need to be addressed quickly.
- Partners will then develop plans to distribute and share work assignments; location of trials, number of trials, timing of trials, resources available.
- Data generated under cooperative work will be publically available and used both for national registration and international standard (MRL) setting needs.
- For each collaborative study, partners will each need to conduct and analyse between 1-6 trials, depending on the crop and number of partners involved.
- The Minor Use Foundation (MUF), via IR-4 and other supporting institutions, will provide coordination to identify and prioritize work among partners.
- MUF will offer technical assistance to partners on training and guidance for conducting supervised residue trials (both field and laboratory).
- As a work-sharing effort, MUF, IR-4, research partners, plant protection registrants, grower/exporter associations, and other stakeholders will need to develop a funding plan which will need to be tailored for each study, according to each countries’ unique situation for each project.
- Sources of funding for each project will generally include the following:
|• Project Coordination||MUF|
|• Field Access/Crop Purchase||Grower/Exporter Association|
|• Labor Field Applications||Partner’s own staff|
|• Labor Laboratory Analysis||Partner’s own staff|
|• Labor Quality Assurance||Partner’s own staff|
|• Equipment/Supplies||Partner, MUF, others, as needed|
|• Registration Fees/Support||Plant Protection Registrant|
|• Efficacy Requirements||Plant Protection Registrant or Partner staff|
Learn more about our joint residue work process here.