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DACUSNEX Report Summary

Project ID: 717607

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DACUSNEX (DACUSNEX COMBI, the first complete solution for the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) pests in olive trees)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The objective of DACUSNEX COMBI is to develop all the necessary stages to introduce in the market a first biocontrol solution that performs a complete and low-cost control of the olive fly, the most important and devastating pest of the olive cultures. The olive culture is widely distributed around the world, with more than 11 million ha of culture (the biggest area of permanent crop in the world) and it means a very important socio-economic resource due to its cultivation in dry areas. The olive fruit fly (Batrocea oleae) is considered the most devastating insect pest of olives in the world. It affects the most important competitiveness factor for this culture, the fruit quality, for both table olive and olive oil production, even with low infestation levels. All solutions developed until now have not achieved an optimal performance of the treatment together with no environmental side-effects and low cost for farmers. To achieve this, DACUSNEX COMBI, joins the action of semiochemicals (a pheromone or other chemical that conveys a signal from one organism to another so as to modify the behaviour of the recipient organism) and specific traps. Preliminary tests (in more than 6.000 ha) developed have been very successful and the product had very positive reviews from farmers. The company aims now to develop a fast and wide market uptake and to solve production constraints and develop the final commercial kit
The company, ECONEX, is leader in the development and commercialization of bio-based solutions for the control of pests in agriculture and forestry, with more than 9,000 customers in 50 countries and 34 delegations in 8 different countries. It has been working for more than 30 years in the development of biocontrol solutions and is now facing the development of world commercialization of this product.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

ECONEX has been working on the development of the project at the same time that carrying out the market study and business plan of DACUSNEX COMBI. From the technical point of view, the company has focused on the production design, working with its own resources. On the other hand, the company has developed market studies and a business plan, hiring the services of experts in this field in order to develop a complete work that covers all the cultivation areas in the world, assessing market niches and supporting in the development of a strategy for commercialization.

The work performed in phase I has been aimed at identifying the size of the market in all the olive tree cultivation area, developing 5 individual country studies (appart from Spain), studying competence and market performance. On the other hand, a business plan has been developed in order to design the market uptake stages, setting two different scenarios: the first one with the support of SME instrument phase II and the second one only with own resources. The result of this work has been:

- The precise selection of market niches and commercialization strategies and planning
- The selection of the strategy will be based on the specialization as main competitive advantage
- The business model is based on a proper value proposal (one partner to ensure quality and yield of harvests, no venturing and at a very reasonable cost) that is focused on an accessible and defensible market niche ─organic olive agricultural activities.
- The main countries for the first commercialization stage will be Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey. The total potential market in target countries amounts a total of 36,505,064 euros.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Dacusnex Combi shows better performance and total control of the pest by focusing on both male and female. The novelty against othermarket options (both chemical pesticides and other biocontrol solutions) is based on its improved performance (against other biocontrol solutions), the absence of health and environmental risks and lower costs (against chemical pesticides) and the reliability of the control performance over the time (against both: chemical and biocontrol solutions). These advantages are based on the product features:
- The pheromone to attract olive fly males is applied with a special dispenser developed and patented by ECONEX, which assures a 90 days efficient protection time regardless climate conditions. It avoids the problem of some treatments that cannot assure this feature, which leads to over-treatment of the cultivation or to risks for the production (as stated before, the damage threshold is really low).
- The trap used for females (also males are attracted) is specific for the olive fly, not affecting to other beneficial secondary fauna, improving this way the performance offered by other traps.
All features are included in a single product, being the ease of management and application a distinctive characteristic. In addition to this, the reliability on the protection time helps farmers to plan and manage their cultivation tasks.
- The price is lower than other solutions, achieving a whole year protection with less than100 €/ha (48 €/ha average cost of a single application).
- There is no interaction with the olive fruit, so there is no residues and no health problems. On the other hand is 100% environmentally-friendly and there is not development of resistance-related problems.

Regarding the impact, olive cultures are suitable for semiarid and arid areas, becoming a key economic activity in rural areas and a valuable option to support rural development. As it is highly dependant on rain, revenues can be quite variable (being this issue increased due to climatic change forecasts). This means that the assurance of an effective pest control and the reductions on its costs are essential for the success of the culture. Both issues are supported by Dacusnex, which is cheaper than other options, simple to use and very effective. It is at least 30% cheaper than the next competitive option in terms of costs. On the other hand, the provision of effective bio-products for pest control increases the safety and health of food.
The socioeconomic assessment shows a very positive impact of the project as it implies the creation of 58 jobs in the different countries where the company is focusing.
The commercial plan sets a series of sale goals consisting of 740,275 € (2,03 % penetration) for the first year, 1,799,852 € (4,93 % penetration) for the second one, 2,550,334 € (6,99 % penetration) for the third, and 3,635,426 € (9,96 % penetration) for the fourth year.
The financial plan foresees a negative EBITDA generated of 51,683 € for the first year and a positive one of 178,146 € (second year), 365,956 € (third year) and 668,569 € for the fourth year.

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