Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

ECO-ZEO — Result In Brief

Project ID: 282865
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
Country: Spain
Domain: Agriculture and Forestry

Zeolite for agriculture

An EU team developed an agricultural product intended to help farmers reduce dependency on conventional chemicals and improve quality. The product reduced incidence of disease while also improving environmental quality.
Zeolite for agriculture
European farmers are under pressure to deliver healthier produce without increasing their environmental impact. To do so, they will need support in the form of new agricultural products.

The EU-funded ECO-ZEO (Developing a pool of novel and eco-efficient applications of zeolite for the agriculture sector) project replaced certain plant-protection products with greener alternatives. The team developed a mixture based on Zeolite 4A and other ingredients. The new products helped improve water efficiency, control pests and diseases, reduce pesticide use, increase crop yield, and improved tolerance to environmental stress. The mixtures also helped separate agricultural yield from climate and other pressures.

Researchers applied the mixture to controlling diseases and pests of priority crops including apples, tomatoes, table grapes and oranges.

During the first year, the team reformulated and tested various versions of the mixture at least twice for each crop. Testing compared the mixtures against standard plant protection products and controls. Hence, the team determined the optimal composition.

Testing did not prove any benefits of the Zeolite 4A mixture in terms of water consumption, crop yield or pest damage. However, the project's formulations were confirmed to help control at least two diseases. Studies also demonstrated the products' environmental safety and potential to replace chemical fungicides.

Other work helped prepare for further experimentation and commercial exploitation. Such phases included investigations into economic and environmental sustainability, including impacts on the agro-forestry sector and other benchmarking. The team also compiled a pool of relevant knowledge to support future research, and a brief for EU policymakers.

ECO-ZEO's plant protection products helped phase out harmful agricultural chemicals. The work helped improve the health of consumers and agricultural workers, leading to economic savings.

Related information

Keywords

Eco-efficient, applications, ECO-ZEO, zeolite, agriculture, disease
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