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Switzerland votes on pesticides ban

Switzerland votes on pesticides ban

Swiss citizens are due to vote in a referendum which could see their country become only the second in the world to ban synthetic pesticides. One initiative proposes to end subsidies to farmers who use such pesticides, while another one would ban them altogether within 10 years. Farmers warn this will put many of them out of business, arguing that they are already complying with strict rules.

Chris
Chris
Shane
Shane 1 months

This concept was first introduced in Bhutan in 2013, a country that has a vibrant agricultural industry (with over half of the population working in this sector). Some results of the initiative: It appears that since its introduction, food imports have slowly increased in Bhutan. E.g. wheat imports increased from 1000T in 2012 to 10,000T in 2020. It also appears that the number of people employed in the agri sector has dropped from 60% in 2011, to 54.6% in 2020. Both of these results may reflect the reality of extra regulation - i.e. reduced self-sustainability. However it can also be explained by a general strengthening of Bhutan's economy, which favors more international trade and a shift to secondary & tertiary sectors. In any case, Switzerland is a very different country to Bhutan. Regulation adds an administrative, operational, and financial burden which favors larger farming businesses over small Swiss farmers, who can absorb the burden. Thus it's no surprise to see backlash against it.

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