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Natura Agro

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Vinidea is a partner in the NATURAL AGRO project.

The NATURAL AGRO project was awarded by the LIFE Programme’s 2022 call for standard action projects and has a duration of five years and involves three partner countries: France, Italy and Portugal. In the project, Natural Development Group collaborates with the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (FR), the University of Camerino (IT), the University of Bologna (IT), INIAV, IP – Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (PT), Certiquality (IT), Vinidea (IT), Vitepiù (IT) and ENTOPAN (IT) as associated partners.

The project aims to direct European viticulture towards more efficient, sustainable and toxic-free crop protection by reducing and possibly even eliminating the use of xenobiotic compounds in plant protection products (PPPs). The project is coordinated by an Italian company, Natural Development Group, based in Castel Maggiore (Bologna) and already very active in the field of fertilisers. The mission of the Natural Agro project is to adopt a more environmentally friendly agricultural production, particularly for vines, by developing an effective and sustainable strategy to combat pests. Based on the importance, and above all the economic importance, of vine cultivation in Europe, the project aims to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilisers by proposing an innovative solution to the current market. As wine growing is one of the most profitable activities in the EU and covers an area of about 3.2 million hectares, wine growers face two fundamental challenges in making this practice sustainable and environmentally safe. Furthermore, the improper use of grape biomass, which is incinerated in the field, resulting in excessive emission of greenhouse gases, and the excessive use of chemical pesticides in grape production represent a negative management of viticulture. Winegrowers are reliant on the use of chemical pesticides because grapevines are susceptible to many fungal diseases, such as grapevine downy mildew (DM) and grapevine stem disease (GTD), which have the potential to cause severe crop damage and substantial economic losses to EU winegrowers.

As the primary treatment of these diseases, intensive copper (Cu) plant protection products are considered the most important antifungal product in organic viticulture. However, the dependence on Cu-based plant protection products is of urgent concern, due to the increasing toxic accumulation of Cu in soil and water and its potential assimilation in fruits, with a serious impact on human health. To address these environmental challenges, Natural Development Group and its partners carried out intensive research to develop an innovative Cu-reduced PPP product by combining a suspension of carbonated hydroxyapatite, a biomimetic carrier, with mixtures of natural oils. Due to the fact that they are natural, natural oils are of extreme importance, and the European Commission’s goal is to decrease the amount of organic plant protection products, as well as copper, to eliminate contamination and pollution.

Time period

01/07/2023 – 30/06/2028

Project number

1010113781

Project name

NATURAL AGRO chemical formulations to reduce the environmental impact of pest control in vineyards

Project acronym

LIFE22-ENV-IT-NATURA AGRO

Bando

LIFE-2022-SAP-ENV-ENVIRONMENT

Providing body

European Union

Total funding

€ 3.280.087,15

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