The horticulture sector in EU-27 accounted for 13,7 % of the agricultural output in 2016 according to EUROSTAT, but accounts for only a small % of the total acreage (around 3%). The vegetable sector is thus characterized by a high added value and as a provider of easily accessible jobs. As in other agricultural subsectors, farmers in horticulture face the challenge of responding to the (mandatory) implementation of the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
IPM means careful consideration of all available plant protection methods. It follows the subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of populations of harmful organisms. IPM strives to keep the use of plant protection products and other forms of intervention to levels that are economically and ecologically justified while minimizing risks to human health and the environment. IPM emphasizes the growth of healthy crops with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms (definition of the European Commission). IPM stands for a holistic approach to plant health management, based on prevention, monitoring and control.