Tomi Marinelic, an organic farmer from Dalmatia, Croatia produces and sells the flowers from a plant species called Dalmatian pyrethrum or Dalmatian chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium Trev.). This plant with beautiful flowers, not only has leaves which are great for animal fodder, but is also known to contain the substance which is the basis of the most powerful plant-based insecticide in the world. He currently sells the flowers to farmers in the region who use them as an insecticide on their crops, either by grinding them up and sprinkling them on the crops, or by making a spray through infusion in hot water.
At the moment, insecticide producing companies in the EU import this type of plant extract from Africa and Australia, the extract itself is currently not produced on a large scale in Europe due to problems of cost effectiveness.
But Dalmatia is the only place in the world where this plant thrives naturally in the wild thanks to just the right environmental conditions. It grows abundantly with no need for any inputs or chemicals.
Tomi believes a real industry could be developed producing the flowers and extracting the substance. This plant extracted insecticide has unique qualities, it is non residual, highly biodegradable, almost harmless to warm blooded organisms and causes no resistance build-up. This could benefit farmers across the EU, lowering the price of plant-based insecticide for EU farmers and reducing reliance on import. He has already carried out some several successful experimental plantings and has developed cultivars with a high yield, but this needs further research. He has contacted the EIP-AGRI network looking for opportunities to further develop his crop. You can find more information on his website and here on our website as a need for research from practice.