This article reports on the preliminary trials carried out at the Tecnova Experimental Center, in Almería, as part of the LIFE NextFUMIGREEN European project. This project aims to test the efficacy of a fumigant based on natural active ingredients to combat the most important pests of horticultural crops, initially focusing on the whitefly. The trials were carried out in two cucumber greenhouses and had the collaboration of various companies and organizations with experience in the field of agriculture and innovation.
The LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project, 60% financed by the LIFE Program of the European Commission, seeks to develop natural fumigants from plant extracts to control whitefly populations in greenhouse horticultural crops. To this end, a consortium of companies and organizations has been formed that contributes their experience and knowledge in different areas.
In this technical visit carried out on May 9, 2023, a preliminary test was carried out to adjust the dose of the fumigants intended to combat the whitefly. These fumigants are being developed as part of the LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project, led by FumiHogar, a company with extensive experience in the formulation of pest control products. The visit coincided with Europe Day, a symbolic date for the LIFE program and European cooperation.
The tests were carried out in a cucumber crop in two greenhouses belonging to the Tecnova Experimental Center. This preliminary phase continues the previous project “Development of natural fumigants for the control of whitefly and botrytis in horticultural crops under greenhouses”, financed by the CDTI, whose results laid the foundations for the development of LIFE NextFUMIGREEN.
In this phase of trials, air quality sensors for greenhousessupplied by BrioAgro were incorporated to monitor crop conditions during the application of fumigants. The use of this technology aims to optimise the properties of natural biopesticides, maximising their efficacy and minimising risks for both farmers and the environment.
The project consortium is made up of FumiHogar, Massó Agro and B&B Asesores Auditores Ambientales. FumiHogar is the leading company in the development of fumigants, while Massó Agro is dedicated to the distribution of chemical specialties for different sectors, and B&B Asesores contributes its experience in processing and obtaining registrations and approvals.
In addition, the project has the collaboration of the Finnova Foundation, a Spanish-Belgian entity based in Brussels and Spain, specialized in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the European Union.
The LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project represents an important advance in the search for more sustainable and less toxic solutions for pest control in greenhouse horticultural crops. The use of fumigants based on natural assets can contribute to improving food security, preserving biodiversity and reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.
The preliminary tests carried out at the Tecnova Experimental Center in Almería mark the beginning of an investigation that will last four and a half years and whose objective is to validate the efficacy of these new fumigants. Ultimately, this project is expected to contribute to the professionalization of farmers in the use of biopesticides and encourage the adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices throughout the European Union.