LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project, solution to the withdrawal of the EU proposal on the sustainable use of pesticides

The European Commission is withdrawing its proposal on the sustainable use of pesticides, which called for halving the use of pesticides in the EU. In this context, the use of natural fumigants proposed by the LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project is undoubtedly the best alternative to protect the environment and food safety.

“Agriculture needs to move to a more sustainable model of production, so that their farms remain profitable in the years to come. And we want to make sure that in this process, the farmers remain in the driving seat”, said Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen to the European Parliament last Tuesday. For this reason, he announced that he will talk to all the actors involved in order to move forward with a standard that satisfies everyone and that meets the objective of reducing the risks of chemical phytosanitary products.

Modern society demands more sustainable and safer environments, free of pests and diseases. Most of the biocides currently used are based on chemicals, many of which are toxic and persistent in the environment, making them linked to endocrine disruption and disease. The development of natural biocides is becoming a pressing need for our society and the environment, a need that is being met by the LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project which will test the efficacy of a new type of fumigant plant protection product, based on active ingredients extracted from plant extracts, for the control of whitefly populations (Bemisia tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporariorum) and other pests (thrips, aphids, tuta…) in intensive greenhouse horticultural crops.

With a total budget of €2,758,921.01, 60% subsidised by the LIFE programme, the project will run for 4 years and 6 months, until 31 May 2027. Led by the Spanish company FumiHogar, the project has five other partners: the Foundation for Agricultural Auxiliary Technologies (TECNOVA); the Finnova Foundation; B&B Asesores Auditores Ambientales; Comercial Quimica Masso; and BrioAgro Tech.

Fumigant biopesticides are less toxic than conventional pesticides, and the replacement of chemical pesticides will mitigate adverse effects on the environment and human health. The project aims to demonstrate that this new fumigant biopesticide is effective against pests and diseases specific to pepper and tomato crops (the major greenhouse crops) and that it can be used for other pathosystems (in addition to whitefly, it is intended to demonstrate its efficacy against thrips and tuta absoluta) and in other EU countries.

LIFE NextFUMIGREEN also foresees other benefits such as improved food security due to residue-free food production, and positive effects on biodiversity and climate change.


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