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Holistic Smart Integrated Pest Management by combining unique real-time smart pheromone based pest monitoring trap (ecoberTRAP) with novel cost-effective European pheromone production (ecoberSYTHESIS)

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Ecofarming Synergy (Holistic Smart Integrated Pest Management by combining unique real-time smart pheromone based pest monitoring trap (ecoberTRAP) with novel cost-effective European pheromone production (ecoberSYTHESIS))

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2020-09-30

With around 25% of the European landscape used for permanent crops and arable land, and the daily efforts of nearly 12 million European farmers and workers, agriculture plays an important role in shaping Europe. Many of the organisms that live on, or move through farms help to keep soils healthy, or pollinate crops; however, insufficient management of potential pests poses risks to agricultural productivity and human health. Not limited to the use of pesticides alone, but no less relevant, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and European Union environmental regulations oblige Europe’s farmers to take biodiversity and conservation seriously, enforcing compliance with protection measures.

Pests, pathogens and weeds are responsible for annual losses of 26-40% of the world´s potential crop production. The increasing concerns of the effects of pesticides on the biological diversity, the environment in general, and the human health plus the raise of organic agriculture together with the loss on effectiveness of many pesticides and the high costs of production of specific molecules, have helped in promoting new and more sustainable solutions. One of these being the use of insect pheromones for detecting pests in early stages of plagues propagation. Pheromones have been already used for some time for both pest monitoring and control (mass trapping), but a number of drawbacks prevent their wider use: current production methodologies are generally slow and expensive, some productions are in countries outside Europe, making European farmers captive of a few industries overseas, and monitoring is time-consuming, requiring frequent visits to the fields when using conventional trapping methods.

Ferimark 2016 (trade mark: ecobertura), with its very own protected synthesis process, produces up to 82% cheaper pheromones in half of the time. Ferimark 2016 also developed a smart trap, ICT controlled cloud-based, which uses photovoltaic energy, that provides real time information to farmers and agricultural authorities via a web/mobile app, without having to move to the plantations, reducing visits to the fields.
Regardless the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, Ferimark 2016 has managed to considerably increase its portfolio of pheromone, duplicating the number of pheromones compared to the status pre-SMEInst-1 project launch. We have also registered many of the pheromones with pending registration.

Progress has been also done on our ecoberTRAP and web application for smart pest monitoring.

Dissemination activities have been compromised due to COVID-19 pandemic.
We have produced many new pheromones using our very own synthesis process with produces more effective pheromones at a much lower production cost. Furthermore, our smart trap reduces the need for farmers and public authorities working on pest monitoring to visit the cultivation areas.