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LIFEAGROINTEGRA - DEMONSTRATION OF SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVES TO CHEMICAL PRODUCTS FOR EUROPEAN CROP PROTECTION (AGROINTEGRA)

LIFE13 ENV/ES/000665


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  
 

Contact details:

Contact person: Delia SOLA
Tel: 34848426196
Fax: 34848422922
Email: dsolajim@navarra.es



Project description:

Background

The predominant crop protection model in Europe is based on chemical control of pests, diseases and weeds. This has high environmental risks, through impacts on non-target fauna and flora and the contamination of soils and rivers, exacerbated by systematic application practices. However, the use of pesticides is still the simplest and cheapest technological solution for crop protection. A lack of farmer awareness of the environmental risks associated with these products, and of the existence and viability of alternative techniques, are further impediments to change. An EU Directive (2009/128/EC) has regulated the use of pesticides, establishing a framework for their sustainable use. In this context, Spain – along with other EU countries - has drafted a National Action Plan (NAP) for ensuring compliance with the European framework. Implementation, however, remains a challenge.


Objectives

The objective of the LIFEAGROINTEGRA project was to promote the most innovative tools available for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the agricultural sector, as a viable alternative to the use of chemical pesticides. To achieve this, the project aimed to demonstrate both the efficacy and environmental benefits of the available low-risk phytosanitary alternatives, and to develop practical tools to help farmers make the transition to IPM. Its aim was to design and implement IPM models in three different kinds of farm systems – fruit production, vineyards, vegetables and extensive crop cultivation – on both irrigated and rain-fed lands. Specific objectives included the development of a ‘Crops Guide’ to inform farmers of the most appropriate IPM actions for different types of pest avoidance; the establishment of an extensive network of pest alert points to warn farmers and help prevent the spread of pests; and the integration of all the information collected into a web-based GIS decision-making tool for farmers, which will be validated on 200 farms.


Results

The LIFEAGROINTEGRA project demonstrated the technical and economic feasibility of Integrated Pest Management tools (IPM) for reducing the use of chemical crop protection products on farms in the region of Navarre, Spain. The aim was for at least a 30% reduction, but the project achieved an average 45% reduction in the 11 crops tested. The project’s Pests Monitoring and Warning System (EA AGROintegra) offers support to farmers for improving crop treatments and the use of innovative IPM techniques. It represents a successful collaborative approach between farmers and technicians, due to the participation of agri-food industries and agricultural cooperatives. A related Decision Support Tool (HAD AGROintegra) was implemented, in connection with a system developed during a previous LIFE project (sigAGROasesor), which will help farmers decide on the most suitable and environmentally-friendly methods.

The project tools incorporate several innovative aspects, in particular the use of GIS, which enables agricultural plot-level accuracy and the mapping of varied information; models and decision support tools that use recently-emerging software applications capable of simulating the development of crops, the need for fertilisers, and the potential yield and risk of crop pest damages; traceability and big data management; and an Internet of Things approach for mobile geolocalisation at plot level that introduces augmented reality to the agricultural sector.

In total, 6 466 people participated in the 70 training actions, and over 1 300 farmers and more than 1 000 agricultural technicians were specifically trained to use the project’s tools. This high level of participation reflects the interest of the agricultural sector in Navarre in IPM techniques. Widespread use of IPM may lead to the creation of new jobs, due to greater demand for qualified and specialised technicians.

Key challenges to overcome were the large amount of information to collect and process in a short period of time, and the constant changes in regulations regarding pesticide classification. Lessons learned included the need to strengthen the alignment of AGROintegra services with the EU agricultural policies (e.g. CAP, RDP); the need to strengthen training for both farmers and technical advisors on new IPM techniques; and the need to enhance collaboration to share information for the early detection of emerging pests.

LIFEAGROINTEGRA potentially provides huge direct and indirect environmental benefits in the long term in the agriculture sector, both at local and global level, since it has demonstrated the technical and economic feasibility of IPM that minimises the environmental impacts of phytosanitary treatments employed in conventional agriculture. Direct benefits, for example, derive from its demonstration involving 2 000 farmers in Navarre of a 45% reduction in the chemical pesticides used on fruit trees, vineyards and vegetables, compared to the conventional crop protection system in use prior to the project.

Farm-level project results were essential for defining the required initial investment to implement new IPM techniques, and their effectiveness compared to the conventional system. This also highlighted difficulties associated with their introduction. However, the widespread use of IPM products and materials was shown to favour price reductions in the medium term. Means of financing the transition to IPM were considered, as well as strategies to optimise their use, which may facilitate its implementation. From the social point of view, less pesticide applications can help reduce the risks associated with their use on crops, particularly for farmers who directly apply plant protection products, and it can also reduce pesticide residues in food.

The project promotes the objectives of the Environment Action Programme of the European Community, particularly through Directive 2009/128/EC on the sustainable use of pesticides, the EU Thematic Soil Strategy as well as the environmental objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy. LIFEAGROINTEGRA also helps achieve the goals of the Spanish National Action Plan on pesticides.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Information - Governance - Environmental training - Capacity building
Risk management - Risk assessment and monitoring
Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry


Keywords

agricultural method‚  environmental impact of agriculture‚  Agriculture‚  decision making support‚  alternative technology‚  pest control


Target EU Legislation

  • Land & Soil
  • COM(2006)231 - “Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection” (22.09.2006)
  • COM(2010)672 - The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challeng ...
  • Chemicals & Hazardous substances
  • Directive 2009/128/EC - A framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pestic ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Gobierno de Navarra- Servicio de Agricultura del Departamento de Desarrollo rural, Medio Ambiente y Administración Local
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description The Agricultural Service division is part of the Department of Rural Development, Environment and Local Administration in the region of Navarra, Spain. It is responsible for overseeing food safety and plant health in agricultural production.
Partners UCAN(UNIÓN DE COOPERATIVISTAS AGRARIAS DE NAVARRA), Spain INTIA(INSTITUTO NAVARRO DE TECNOLOGÍAS E INFRAESTRUCTURAS AGROALIMENTARIAS S.A. -INTIA), Spain CONSEBRO(Asociación de Industrias Agroalimentarias de Navarra, La Rioja, Aragón, CONSEBRO), Spain

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Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/000665
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 30-JUN -2017
Total budget 1,561,766.00 €
EU contribution 774,642.00 €
Project location Navarra(España)

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Read more:

Brochure Folleto del proyecto
Newsletter "Boletín nº 4, Junio 2016" (1.42 MB)
Newsletter "Boletín nº 5, Diciembre 2016" (1.53 MB)
Newsletter "Boletín n°1, Diciembre 2014" (419 KB)
Newsletter "Boletín nº 3, Diciembre 2015" (3.19 MB)
Newsletter "Boletín nº 2, Junio 2015" (802 KB)
Newsletter "Boletín n°6, Agosto 2017" (1.35 MB)
Poster "Black grass (Alopecurus myosuroides) resistent to ...
Poster "Reducción de las dosis de cobre en la variedad bl ...
Poster "An efficient approach to involve key stakeholders ...
Poster "Bandas Floridas en Tomate: Estudio de su efecto s ...
Poster "Pest monitoring and warning system of Navarra (Sp ...
Press article Encuentro de proyectos LIFE en el Simposio de Phyt ...
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: PERAL" (3.86 MB)
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: MELOCOTONERO" (3.16 ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: MANZANO" (4.64 MB)
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: CARDO" (1.09 MB)
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guías de Protección Integrada de 10 cultivos" (11 ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: VIÑA" (1.64 MB)
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: BRÓCOLI" (1.90 MB)
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: BORRAJA" (1.09 MB)
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: TRIGO" (3.43 MB)
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: ESPINACA" (1.22 MB)
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía de Protección Integrada: CEBADA" (2.78 MB)
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version