LIFE MICROFIGHTER - Innovative Zeo-Biopesticides, based on useful microorganisms, for eliminating the use of copper-based pesticides

LIFE MICROFIGHTER project has been conceived to demonstrate in open field the effectiveness of a new product and practice that will reduce/substitute copper-based pesticides for the defence against relevant pathogens (downy mildew, bacterial speck, bacterial spot, olive knot disease and peacock eye) of grapevine, tomato and olive.
Project general objectives are:
● demonstrate the efficacy of a new natural and environmentally sustainable Zeo-Biopesticide, composed by Italian natural K-chabasite zeolites and a specific mBCA (Pseudomonas sp. DLS65) as an alternative to copper-based products for the control of the most threatening diseases of grapevine, tomato and olive (downy mildew, bacterial speck, bacterial spot, olive knot disease and peacock eye) in IPM and organic farms in Italy, Croatia and Spain;
● reduce the copper input in the agricultural soils from average 4 kg/ha/year to average 2 kg/ha/year without affecting the yields and the quality of foods; the total substitution of copper with the new Zeo-Biopesticide will also be tested and evaluated, in the perspective of a ban of Cu-based agrochemicals;
● demonstrate that the cultivation with the new Zeo-Biopesticide will decrease the amount of copper accumulated in the topsoil of at least 0.7 ppm each year of experimental cultivation and increase soil biodiversity;
● promote, encourage and support the use of the innovative Zeo-Biopesticide and the cultivation strategies tested in the project as alternatives to copper for the cultivation of grape, tomato and olive, thanks to a capillary dissemination of the results to all the most relevant stakeholders, in particular the farmers and the policy makers. They will be made aware of the risks and environmental issues related to copper pesticides and of the Zeo-Biopesticide as a feasible alternative, leading to lower environmental impacts and better pest-control efficiencies.
● performing monitoring campaign, LCA and business plan

Project details

Scientific responsability: Massimo Coltorti

Funding source: LIFE

Call: LIFE-2021-SAP-ENV

Start date 01/08/2022 - end date 31/01/2026

EU contribution: 1.307.124,84 €

EU contribution to UniFe: 175.298,10 €

Participants

  • SYMBIAGRO SRL, Italy
  • ASTRA INNOVAZIONE E SVILUPPO SRL AGENZIA PER LA SPERIMENTAZIONE TECNOLOGICA E LA RICERCA AGROAMBIENTALE SRL (Astra), Italy
  • CONSORZIO AGRARIO DI RAVENNA SOC.COOP. A R.L. (CAR), Italy
  • FEDERACION DE COOPERATIVAS AGROALIMENTARES DE LA COMUNIDAD VALENCIANA (CACV), Spain
  • CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE (CNR), Italy
  • UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI FERRARA (Unife), Italy
  • UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI MODENA E REGGIO EMILIA (UNIMORE), Italy
  • SVEUCILISTE U ZADRU (UNIZD), Croatia
  • CO&SO -CONSORZIO PER LA COOPERAZIONE E LA SOLIDARIETA'-CONSORZIO DI COOPERATIVE SOCIALI-SOCIETA' COOPERATTIVA SOCIALE (CO&SO), Italy