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Development of a growing and delivery process for mass producing sphagnum moss for peatland restoration and cultivation as an economical and sustainable growing media

Objective

Sphagnum peat moss is a valued, recognized, natural, organic reserve that is largely harvested for use as a soil conditioner
or amendment in horticulture. It is often referred to as the universal soil conditioner for its benefits to the soil. The decayed
and dried sphagnum peat moss is usually referred to as simply peat. As a soil amendment, it is free of weed seeds, pests
and pathogens and can absorb up to 20 times its weight in water. The peat bogs from which peat moss is derived are one of
the most distinctive kinds of wetlands. Peat bogs are an important environmental resource and create areas of huge
biodiversity, keeping more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than forests, and helping to prevent flooding. Problem:
Naturally formed peat has been harvested for centuries, and European supplies are seriously depleted in England, Holland
and Germany, and are in the process of being commercially harvested in areas of Eastern Europe. This harvesting causes
serious environmental problems, as the peat cannot be regenerated within our lifetimes. Habitats are destroyed, and the
carbon balance is badly affected, as peatlands are major stores of carbon and are vital environmental ‘regulators’. Many
peatlands globally, which have been farmed for peat, are now sources of greenhouse gases, owing to degradation and
oxidation of the unsaturated peat layer. The UK government are currently working to completely phase out the use of peat
based products in UK Horticulture by 2030, but there is presently no viable alternative growing media which offers the same
quality as peat.
This project is to determine the business opportunity for the commercialisation of a method to grow moss on a large scale,
on mats, which will speed up significantly the growing process, enabling the production of a sustainable growing media for
horticulture (replacing peat) and creating a valuable cash crop opportunity for farmers.

Call for proposal

H2020-SMEINST-1-2016-2017
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

MICROPROPAGATION SERVICES (E.M.) LIMITED
Address
Kirk Ley Road East Leake
LE12 6PE Loughborough Leicestershire
United Kingdom
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000