Ambassadors plea for fast registration of pollination and biocontrol products in Colombia

With a clear message, the Belgium and Dutch ambassadors in Colombia introduced an important meeting for the pollination and biocontrol industry in Bogotá, Colombia. “Take the opportunity that bumblebee pollination and biocontrol brings. It is of great economic interest and even more importantly, it offers great advantages for the health of the environment, the growers and the consumers”, stated the ambassadors.  

On the 22nd of March, the embassies together with IBMA, Biobest and Koppert Colombia organised an event focusing on biological control. The informative so-called ´breakfast meeting´ was meant to reunite pollination and biological control companies, local authorities and crop organisations. The main question was: what tools are available to enhance the development of biological control and pollination in Colombia? There was a lot of interest, around 50 attendees came from all different parts of the country to join the meeting.

After the introduction of the ambassadors - both of them pleaded for an accurate, but fast registration of biological control products - several interesting presentations followed. Johannette Klapwijk from Koppert BV and Lieselot Van der Veken from Biobest explained the role of IBMA (International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association). “This fast growing global organisation informs authorities and consumers about the advantages of biological control. IBMA considers it as a priority to share this knowledge”, explained Johannette. Lieselot underlined the importance of bumblebees and natural enemies in the Colombian agriculture to develop more sustainability.

The organisers were especially happy with the presence of governmental organisations such as ICA and ANLA. Both authorities are deeply involved in the registration process of biological control products. Many companies experience problems with the inflexible regulations made up by the government and executed by these organisations. With the meeting, all parties hoped to build a bridge between the companies needs and the governmental rules.

Thanks to the Q&A-round, many issues came across. Some of the attendees wanted to share their positive experiences, others mentioned their concerns with regard to the use of biological control. Besides, different employees of governmental authorities replied to several questions regarding the registration of products. By joining their forces, IBMA, Koppert and Biobest hope for a quick solution to the stagnation in the registration process of bumblebees and biological control products. As the only commercial producer of the native South American bumblebee Bombus atratus, Biobest is working for several years on the registration of this product for the promising Colombian market.

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