A large number of crops in Belgium are called 'minor crops'. This has nothing to do with the size of the crop itself: they are cultivated in a limited area compared with 'major crops' such as maize and beets. It is not cost-effective for the phyto-pharmaceutical industry to apply for authorisations for the use of plant protection products in these crops. The quantities sold are too small to recoup the costs or generate a profit. As such, there are few or no products which are authorised for these crops. This can cause the following problems:
- impossibility of controlling pests
- insufficient alternatives to make an effective anti-resistance strategy possible
The result is that products are sometimes used illegally in these crops, which can lead to risks for consumers and the environment. To prevent this, the possibility of third party extensions is anticipated.