Microbial plant protection products (microbial PPPs) can contribute to green and sustainable solutions for crop protection in the agricultural and horticultural sector. These agents include bacteria, moulds, and viruses, and they can be used to protect crops against insects and diseases without themselves causing any diseases. They pose few risks to human beings and the environment and do not leave residues behind in food. However, their use is still quite limited. Based on interviews with stakeholders and a literature study, RIVM has made a survey of the obstacles that limit their use as well as the possible solutions to removing these obstacles.
There are still too few microbial PPPs available in Europe. In order to solve this problem, a study could be carried out to determine which of the microbial PPPs that are available on the market outside of Europe could be suitable for use in the Dutch agricultural and horticultural sector. The microbial PPPs that are available are still being used to only a limited extent, as growers and consultants do not know enough about these microbial PPPs. This problem can be solved by developing training programmes for training modules and the spraying licence.
In addition, the research being carried out into microbial agents is not sufficiently focused on diseases and pests that affect major crops. These problems can best be solved via collaboration between researchers, growers, and companies. In addition, the EU guidelines for the assessment of plant protection products are not sufficiently focused on microbial agents. The EU should be encouraged to develop a specific EU guideline for microbial agents.