This project sets out to implement natural, antifungal agents for the effective control of fungal pests of seeds, grains, tubers, roots, bulbs and plantlets during storage and cultivation.
The green chemicals are derived from plants and microorganisms, are selected for broad spectrum antifungal activity in practice and will replace a number of synthetic chemical compounds currently used for the protection of crops. The project will thus contribute to a better protection of the environment and human health, in full compliance with the reformed Common Agricultural Policy. It is not the objective of the project to increase the production of these crops, but rather to use natural means to improve their vitality and quality, thus reducing unnecessary loss of valuable scale. Building on existing scientific and technical expertise, the objective is tackled in a multi-disciplinary approach, involving several links in the production to end-user chain. Two of the leading companies in the European Community currently developing and marketing biological crop protection agents participate and will, together with the other end-users involved, steer the course of all R&D work towards the design of practical and economical green chemicals, taking into account legislative issues from the onset of the project.
The natural antifungal agents can be applied in practice using the techniques
developed for the chemical compounds. Implementation of the green chemicals is thus not hampered due to the requirement of new, costly investments or unfamiliarity on the side of the end-users. The use of chemical fungicides throughout the European community is enormous. In many member states legislations have been issued to come to significant reductions, in some cases even a total elimination, of chemical crop protectants within the next decade. Once these chemicals are banned, environmentally friendlier and healthier agents need to be available, otherwise crop protection will be virtually impossible causing tremendous economical problems. The green chemicals are the prime option to come to an environmentally and economically sustainable agriculture. They allow for further diversification of
crop production for food and non-food use.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6660 AA Elst