The proposed project is focused on the farming & agricultural sector within which there are 135.000 farms concentrating on ecological agriculture and 20.700 SMEs in their supply chains. Ecological agriculture has today only reached 2,0% of the targeted 10% level of cultivated land during the next decade. They faces great challenges to increase competitiveness and meet customers demand, among those getting access to methods and equipment that increases efficiency, enables cost reduction and thus increases competitiveness.
The global market for sowing and manuring/fertilizing machines is worth approximately 3.1 billion in 2002, and is growing at a constant 4,7% per year, but a substantial amount of all sowing and/or manuring/fertilizing machines is imported in to Europe from USA. In addition, the 135.000 EU ecological farmers faces increasing competition, demonstrated i.e. by the steady growth in import of seed and corn from low cost countries.
Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries. Farmers are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, skin diseases, and certain cancers (brain, lip, and skin cancer). The total consumption of fertiliser in Central Europe is more than 5 Million ton and increasing and the total consumption of pesticides in UE-15 are more than 320 ton of active substance. Agriculture is the he main source for "man made" Nitrogen Oxide (N2O) being a very potent greenhouse gas as well as having high ozone depletion potential.
The farmers and the agricultural community and industry in Europe faces great challenges to meet the customers growing demand for ecological products and react to the increasing scepticism with regard to use of chemicals and genetic manipulated products in the agricultural sector. Several EU Commissioninitiatives are addressing these issues including Council adopted Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 on organic production of agricultural products.
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire