The potential of innovative pest management for Greek olive farmers

Olive farming in Greece is facing serious challenges as a result of climate change, the saturation of the international olive oil market and the lack of data on cultivation. The NOVATERRA program aims to address these challenges by promoting innovative farming techniques. In particular, boosting biodiversity can reduce the populations of pathogens such as the olive fruit fly and prays oleae, and thus reduce the economic damage to producers. The project studies the enrichment of olive groves with cover crops and floral margins to increase biodiversity. At the same time, the performance of new organic plant protection products (PPPs) is being studied, which will be accompanied by a low input on the environment and the organisms that are not a target or are beneficial. In addition, a digital early warning platform is being created that will identify the emergence of suitable conditions for the development of olive peacock spot, based on numerous weather stations that will cover the Greek territory.

Thus, the producers will be able to intervene locally without burdening the whole olive grove and without incurring unnecessary costs. Finally, new products are developed that will enable reduced nitrogen fertilization while maintaining high efficiency. This will help producers to reduce the cost of fertilization and at the same time not to burden the subsoil and the aquifer with nitrogen. These are just some of the new solutions being developed under NOVATERRA. Follow the progress of the program through the monthly newsletter.