UNIPD joins the consortium for the implementation of the BIOCOMES project
Is it possible to reduce the use of pesticides and promote the use of non-chemical alternatives? This is the objective of BIOCOMES: new biological control products for farmers and foresters, the project involving the University of Padua (UNIPD) in the context of a consortium made up of 14 countries.
The research aims to develop 11 new products to combat pests and diseases in agriculture and forestry and now, after four years, the project is coming to an end with promising results.
Although a national action plan was adopted in 2014 to drive change towards methods promoting greater environmental and healthcare sustainability, in Italy the reduction is happening spontaneously, with strong resistance by producers and users. “To discourage the use of plant protection products, while maintaining productivity, it was decided to rely on biological control using the natural enemies of harmful species, the goal of the BIOCOMES project”, said Roberto Causin from UNIPD.
“Now, after evaluating the potential of the various biological control agents, we are in the field trial phase. In November, at the end of the investigation, we will be able to tell how many of the 11 products we worked on can actually yield results”, Causin concluded.
Before these products can be brought to the market, however, checks will have to be carried out which, in accordance with the current legislation on plant protection products, require a registration procedure that may take up to two or three years. The products will then be available, provided that companies decide to invest.