Plant pathogen diseases in horticultural crops are responsible for 35% of crop losses. Today, farmers lack information about
disease threats, as there is no way to carry out early diagnosis of the potential diseases that already exist in the soil and
surrounding environment. Without this information, the most common practice is to minimise all threats, regardless of
whether they exist, by the blanket, widespread application of “wide spectrum” chemical pesticides. However, these methods
fail to eliminate all the pathogens effectively, increases production costs and it’s environmentally harmful.
Microgaia is a Spanish SME who has developed a DNA microarray tool that allows rapid and quantitative detection of
200specific plant diseases in a simultaneous way. Microgaia has also developed the associated sampling method and
sampling kits to take samples according particularities of each crop, farm plot and aspects as meteorological data, ensuring
that results are representative.
The use of the entire system, called VegAlert, brings 4 great benefits:
- cost reduction (by saving in pesticides)
- higher yield (reducing losses caused by pathogens)
- preservation of soil quality
- compliance with the EU directive No 2009/128/EC
The utilised agricultural area for horticultural crops surpasses 836.000 thousand hectares in EU-28. Each analysis with
VegAlert will be sold at 50 €. On average, 4 samples will be taken for each hectare and per season, this means that the total
market size for VegAlert is 3.3 million of potential analysis per year (165 M€).
The feasibility study showed that EU farmers are worried by pathogens, and willing to pay for this solution, which minimises
their risks of losing production.
This new business line is expected to generate important growth for Microgaia. The business plan predict that by 2022, 18
new jobs will be created with an annual turnover of 7.1 M€ and EBITDA of 3.1 M€.
Fields of science
- agricultural sciencesagriculture, forestry, and fisheriesagricultureagronomyplant protection
- natural sciencesearth and related environmental sciencesphysical geographycartographygeographic information systems
- engineering and technologymaterials engineering
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesecologyecosystems
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringinformation engineeringtelecommunicationsmobile phones
- H2020-EU.3.2.4. - Sustainable and competitive bio-based industries and supporting the development of a European bioeconomy
- H2020-EU.3.2.1. - Sustainable agriculture and forestry
- H2020-EU.2.3.1. - Mainstreaming SME support, especially through a dedicated instrument
- H2020-EU.3.2.2. - Sustainable and competitive agri-food sector for a safe and healthy diet
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call