New Integrated Strategies to reduce Pesticides’ negative impact launched by the NOVATERRA Project

On October 27th, NOVATERRA partners met online to officially kick-off a new research and innovation Project with the aim to create a more holistic approach to ensure food security and healthy food access for an increasing population while addressing the European Union directives and priorities for sustainable use of pesticides. The project received a total of €4,884,346.35 in funding as a part of a Horizon 2020 grant from the European Commission. Through a series of case studies in Mediterranean olive groves and vineyards, the project aims to develop and test a pool of novel, integrated and sustainable strategies technically and economically viable for different crop systems to eliminate or significantly reduce the use and the negative impacts of contentious Plant Protection Products (also known as pesticides).

Over the next 4 years, the project aims to reduce environmental pollution and the damage to non-target organisms as well as the achievement of better economic sustainability for Mediterranean farmers. NOVATERRA’s new efficient strategies will be derived from the integration of three key approaches:
1.  the use of alternative and natural protection products (biopesticides, biocontrol and innovative adjuvants and formulations);
2. the use of a smart farming platform for a more precise application of the protection products;
3. the testing of new soil management, functional biodiversity strategies and weed management robotics for a greater crop health with less chemicals.

NOVATERRA Consortium, led by the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) and supported in the idea conception and project design by the consulting company artica+i, is constituted by a total of 19 entities including experts from 6 countries (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece and Belgium) with different profiles, who will design, develop, test and exploit the solutions.

In addition to the consortium and due to its multi-actor approach, NOVATERRA will create a Stakeholders Network involving not only farmers but also other relevant agents such policymakers, experts, associations of olive oil and wine producers, auxiliary industries, and citizens. The stakeholders shall participate in the initial diagnosis, participate in focus group meetings and workshops and other exploitation activities and provide specific consulting advice.

The envisaged solutions will be aligned with current market needs, consumer sensitivity, current, and upcoming European legislation, as well as farmers’ and producers’ diverse investment capacity in the Mediterranean regions. Hence, NOVATERRA will be adapted to different edaphoclimatic regions allowing farmers to improve their Integrated Pest Management strategies for protecting vineyards against downy and powdery mildew, botrytis and grape moth, as well as protecting olive groves against olive leaf spot, fruit fly, olive moth and black scale.

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More information about the project:
Felicidad de Herralde
NOVATERRA Project Coordinator 

Mail: felicidad.deherralde@irta.cat
Tel: 902 789 449- ext.1330 / 675 788 982

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