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Promoting Personal Protective Equipment use in Romania: Interview with Ionuț Țabără

As part of CropLife Europe’s 2030 Commitments, one of which is to contribute to the protection of people and the environment, CropLife Europe’s member association in Romania, AIPROM, has been running a training and awareness campaign for farmers, advisors, and multipliers. To hear about how it’s been going, we took a trip to the Romanian town of Băleni-Sârbi to speak to one of the participants.

Hi Ionuț! Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?

Hello, my name is Ionuț Țabără. I am a horticultural engineer and the legal representative of the Market Farm Consult company and the website; a website addressed to all agricultural producers.

What is one key lesson that farmers took away from the AIPROM training campaign?

Just as doctors and firefighters have specific work equipment, we farmers must have the proper equipment when using plant protection products to protect themselves.

We also learned that a complete set of equipment for the application of phytosanitary products consists of coveralls, boots, gloves, masks and protective glasses. It is very important to wear all these elements, even if sometimes the mask or overalls seem uncomfortable. The risk of contamination with some of the products we apply is not negligible.

So when should farmers use Personal Protective Equipment?

Wearing protective equipment is necessary at the beginning of handling the products and preparing the solution, as well as during the entire period of application of the phytosanitary treatment.

After having applyied the phytosanitary products, it is very important that when we take off the overalls and all the protective equipment, they are  washed separately from other clothes and stored properly.

I recommend that all farmers use protective equipment whenever applying a   phytosanitary treatment. Even if they haven’t used this equipment before, it’s important to start today, after the AIPROM campaign.

What is your last word for farmers?

We want to produce quality and safe products from the point of view of consumption. But it is also very important to keep ourselves healthy, so that we can continue to produce quality products in the future. Be a responsible farmer and protect yourself!