Keith du Plessis and Elleunorah Allsopp
ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Private Bag X5026, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa
For many producers, economically sustainable agriculture is not possible without the use of some agrochemicals, i.e. any agricultural remedy registered in terms of Act 36 of 1947, which includes herbicides, miticides, insecticides, nematicides and fungicides. However, Section 24 of the Bill of Rights within the Constitution of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) determines that every person has the right to an environment which is not harmful to their health or well-being and that the environment is conserved for current and future generations. All users of agrochemicals therefore have a constitutional responsibility to ensure that they use these products in such a way as not to cause undue damage to the environment or jeopardise the health of workers and consumers.
The Scheme for Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) provides guidelines for sustainable, environment friendly viticulture. These include a system for rating or coding agrochemicals according to their potential environmental impact and a system that evaluates the relative environmental impact of each agrochemical application. The guidelines require farmers to monitor pest and disease occurrence before deciding whether or not to implement control measures and to use alternatives to chemical control wherever possible. If and when pesticides must be applied, products that have the least impact on the environment should be selected, based on their coding and method of application. A current list of all registered products that have been coded for use in sustainable viticulture is available on the IPW website (http://www.ipw.co.za). As far as the handling, storage and disposal of agrochemicals are concerned, IPW requires farmers to comply with all relevant South African legislation.
The handling, storage and disposal of agrochemicals on farms are governed by a multitude of laws. Consequently, the SABS compiled a national standard, SANS 10206, which summarises all the relevant legal requirements. These regulations apply to all types of farming including grain crops, vegetables and animal production. The latest edition (2007) of SANS 10206 is available from any regional SABS office.
The purpose of this document is to provide users of agrochemicals within the South African wine industry with a handy guide to enable them to comply with all legal requirements regarding the handling, storage and disposal of agrochemicals on farms.