The Project > Description
ECO-ZEO is a FP7 European Project which aims the development of a new pool of GREEN CROP PROTECTION PRODUCTS (efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable) for agriculture, to be used as a coating of leaves and fruits in different type of vegetable and fruit crops: tomato, apple, citrus and table grape.
Such green products will deliver a wide range of beneficial effects in terms of water use efficiency, control of pests and diseases, reduction in pesticides use, increase of crop yield and tolerance to abiotic stress (water and heat stress).
The ECO-ZEO products will rely on:
-Innovative application of Zeolite 4A to the surface of leaves and fruits.
-Adapted strategies for sustainable crop protection (such as chromatic masking, behavior interference and biocontrol) and novel use of sustainable active ingredients and pigments.
-New configurations of additives to enhance performance of the coating (physic-cemical properties).
As a result, the novel ECO-ZEO compositions will be made of three types of ingredients: Zeolite 4A, active ingredients for target-specific plant protection (main pests and diseases) and additives/adjuvants for enhanced efficacy and physico-chemical performance. Once applied on the plant, benefits are expected on:
On the other hand, active ingredients used in ECO-ZEO endow the coating with persistent effects against pests. In addition, the coating can make difficult the recognition of the plant by the adult insects and other phytophagous, since the colouring and texture of plant surface are altered.
ECO-ZEO formulations will be lab and field trialed on set target crops and threats (pest and diseases). Within the scope of the project, priority has been given to apple, tomato, table grape and orange; in terms of scientific, environmental, socioeconomic and business potential interests.
ECO-ZEO is focused on the main pests and diseases that threat them, from several points of view: vulnerability of crop, economic value of treatments, average production losses, and effectiveness of commercial pesticides.
Selected Crops and Targeted Main Threats under ECO-ZEO:
Once lab and field trials conclude, the best performing solutions will be validated through demonstration with European farmers as they are real end users of developed formulations.
At the same time, one of the main added values of ECO-ZEO is achieve both environmental and economic sustainability. Sustainability, eco-efficiency and Life-Cycle analyses will be performed throughout the project.
A complete multidisciplinary Consortium composed of 10 partners from 8 different countries (European Union and Associated countries) has joined to reach all these challenges. An alliance of academia (4 research organizations), 4 agro-biotech SMEs, plant protection product industry and the important contribution of end users represented by an association of fruits and vegetables producers.
The UE funding amounts a total of 2,014 M€ and the project will last 4 years starting 1st March 2012.