An Interview with Bulgarian farmer Alexander Dimitrov Pashov
Protecting people and the environment is a key component of the 2030 Commitments, pledges our industry has set to contribute to and align with the ambitions of the EU Green Deal. Recently one of CropLife Europe’s national associations, BgCPA, organised a training for Bulgarian farmers. The day-long event was hosted in collaboration with the Regional Food Safety Directorate, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. One of the participants, Alexander Dimitrov Pashov, is a farmer in Lozenitsa and he spoke with us about what he learned.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Alexander Dimitrov Pashov and I grow vines on a farm in the village of Lozenitsa in the Blagoevgrad district of Bulgaria.
The training session you participated in was focused on the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and on the safe application of pesticides. Did you learn anything new about agriculture safety?
Thanks to the competent lecturers and excellent training materials, I gained new knowledge and additional insight on best practices in correct pesticide use. I even earned a professional certificate following completion of the training. Together with the other participants, we realised how crucial it is to use PPE, how to do this correctly, and how to safely dispose of empty pesticide containers. If I’m honest, many operators sometimes neglect the importance of correct use of personal protective equipment and others didn’t know how to recycle their empty plastic containers, so it was important to be reminded of the “how” and the “why.” Correct practices not only protect our health, but they help to protect the environment as well.
Was there anything unexpected that you learned during the sessions?
We received an important update on the risks related to the use of counterfeit and illegal pesticide products, and we learned how to recognise them, and how to avoid purchasing or applying them to our fields. Organised crime surrounding counterfeit pesticides is a topic that I personally don’t think about too much, so it was a good opportunity to explore the issue.
And finally, what did you enjoy most about the training?
The training sessions gave us the opportunity to share our practical experience and knowledge with each other, and to be informed about new reporting requirements, documentation and future trends in pesticide use.