Robotic traps, mobile robots for pesticide monitoring and 3D spot spraying are innovations aimed at reducing the use of pesticides and fertilisers. Developed by the EU-funded PestNu project, the aim is to field-test and demonstrate digital and space-based technologies and agro-ecological and organic practices (AOP). The project will develop real-time nutrient analysers and use Copernicus data to map soil and plant nutrients and pests. The technology will be interconnected to a user-centred cloud agricultural management system. Specifically, the project will test its solutions in aquaponic and hydroponic greenhouse and open-field vegetable cultivation in Greece and Spain. The AOP include on-site production of biofertilisers from agriculture wastewaters through an automated drainage recycling system and advanced nutritional programmes for organic farming.
PestNu targets the field -testing and demonstration of digital and space based technologies (DST) and agro-ecological and organic practices (AOP) under a systemic approach to reduce the pesticides and fertilisers use, and loss of nutrients. The consortium brings novel DST including: AI robotic traps for real time pest monitoring; Autonomous mobile robots for pesticide monitoring and 3D spot spraying; Earth Observation missions with robust Agroradar AI algorithms to map soil/plant nutrients and pest plant inputs using Copernicus data/services; and in-situ and real-time nutrient analysers.
All the DST will be interconnected to a user-centric cloud-based Farm Management System, which features a robust Decision Support System integrated with a blockchain based system for DST data evidence, integrity and AI models verification and with a cybersecurity platform to prevent cyber-attacks and IoT vulnerabilities. The AOP include: on-site production of biofertilisers from agricultural waste-waters through a robust automated drainage recycling system via an innovative enzymatic hydrolysis procedure; a novel foliar biopesticide formulated by circular bioeconomy operations, targeting fungal diseases with biostimulant effect; and advanced nutritional programs for organic farming.
The showcase systemic DST & AOP solutions will be demonstrated and tested in aquaponic and hydroponic greenhouse and open-field vegetable cultivation in Greece and Spain. A Pesticide Reduction Program will evaluate the Maximum Residue and the Acceptable Daily Intake levels to ensure vegetable’s food safety and LCA activities will be performed. All these systemic approaches will be performed under a strong collaboration among all the Farm to Fork stakeholders and European Commission services.
PestNu’s Expected Impacts:
Decreasing the dependency on the use of hazardous pesticides
Reducing loss of nutrients from fertilisers & ultimately fertiliser use; increasing their efficiency.
Providing sufficient, safe, nutritious, healthy and affordable food for all.
Improving the overall sustainability of food systems.
Improving the resilience of food systems to shocks and stresses.
Achieve an increase in awareness among policy makers, businesses, investors, entrepreneurs, institutions, stakeholders and citizens of selected innovative systemic solutions, of their potential and of the requirements to promote and realise their uptake at EU scale and behavioural change.
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