A new €1m programme to provide essential habitat and food sources for pollinating insects in Europe has been launched by Syngenta.
Operation Pollinator, a follow-up to the UK’s Operation Bumblebee, aims to boost numbers of insects crucial for producing most types of food crops. Its five-year target is an extra 10,000ha of dedicated habitat across France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
Farmers will receive free advice on seed mixtures, agronomy and pesticide use, and the programme’s progress will be assessed annually by independent scientists.
The three-year Operation Bumblebee raised bee populations by 600% and saw a tenfold increase in other pollinating insects on participating sites, notes the firm.