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NOVATERRA: Integrated novel strategies for reducing the use and impact of pesticides towards sustainable Mediterranean vineyards and olive groves.

Starting date: 01/10/2020 End date: 30/09/2024
Programme: Fruit Production

Financing entities:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 Research and Innovation Program under Grant Agreement nº101000554

The EU has one of the world’s most stringent systems for authorising and controlling the use of pesticides. The aim is to minimise the impact of pesticides on human health and the environment. The EU-funded NOVATERRA project will bring together farmers, researchers and SMEs to investigate novel ways to reduce the use of contentious plant protection products (PPP) in grapevines and olives – the two main Mediterranean crops – and mitigate their negative impacts. Specifically, it will develop combinations of alternative, non-synthetic products and biological control techniques for plant protection. To optimise the application and dosage of PPP, the project will develop smart farming technologies and employ soil management strategies. The findings will benefit EU plant health policymaking.

The DIRECTIVE 2009/128/EC ON THE SUSTAINABLE USE OF PESTICIDES gives directions for attaining the sustainable use of pesticides in the EU. The objective is to minimize risks and impacts for the environment and human health by promoting alternative strategies.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is one of the cornerstones of the Directive. NOVATERRA aims to reduce the use and negative impacts of CONTENTIOUS PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCTS (PPP) for integrated pest, disease and weed management in the two main Mediterranean crops in Europe: grapevines and olives.

NOVATERRA will develop a pool of novel, integrated and sustainable strategies, technically and economically viable, resulting from three different approaches:

  1. To develop novel combinations of ALTERNATIVE, non-synthetic PRODUCTS and biological control techniques for plant protection,
  2. To optimize the application and dosage of PPP through SMART FARMING technologies and
  3. To mitigate the appearance of pest and diseases through the use of new SOIL MANAGEMENT strategies.

Those approaches will be evaluated and validated in a combination of integrated solutions for updating and improving IPM strategies. Indicators for measuring the impact of crop management and protection on human health, air, water, soil, biodiversity, energy will be implemented. Further analyses will be done in terms of economic cost-benefit for farmers to adopt the different techniques and farmers and consumers’ willingness to pay.

The consortium composition will guarantee a multi-actor approach with contributions coming from research institutions, growers, technological SMEs, auxiliary industry and relevant associations.

Finally, the Exploitation Plan together with the Communication and Dissemination Plan will ensure the outreach of results among the stakeholders in the European farming sector. NOVATERRA outputs will also be key for further discussion with policymakers in terms of EU plant health policies and risk assessment around PPPs usage.