The EVERGREEN project will demonstrate the successful use of biomolecules recovered from agricultural vegetable wastes as substitutes of pesticides for the environmentally friendly and sustainable control of plant diseases.
Among the most harmful phytopathogens which threaten crops, causing severe losses and including many quarantine for Europe, there are bacteria and nematodes. Current pesticides for controlling these plant pathogens are definitely unsatisfactory and highly pollutant.
The main goal of EVERGREEN will be to demonstrate the in vitro and in vivo efficacy and reliability of the polyphenolic-based biomolecules extracted from agricultural non-food biomasses and wastes as disease control products against phytopathogenic bacteria and nematodes, for replacing current commercial pesticides and application of copper salts in conventional and organic agriculture. Optimised field treatments will also be carried out on several plants and crops having a high commercial value and here used as a model (Olive, Kiwi, Potato, Tobacco).
- the demonstration of broad spectrum control strategies against these phytopathogens and the diseases they cause worldwide, in an integrated management of the resources;
- demonstrating efficacy and reliability in pilot studies carried out by the participants, using several model plants and crops,
- having null environmental impact;
- having null ability to cause the onset and the spread of any resistance, because not targeted towards functions specifically related to bacterial or nematode viability;
- not providing a persistent selection pressure causing in the environment the co-selection of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and/or to heavy metals, with dramatic consequences on animals and humans health, as occurring with some pesticides and with copper.
- The compliance with current REACH EU legislation of the optimized processes for the chemical recovery/extraction of polyphenolic-based bioactive molecules from vegetable wastes.
- The recycling of agricultural non-food vegetable biomasses and wastes to extract bioactive molecules with a highly positive and heavy impact:
- on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions given by the direct incineration of these biomasses and wastes;
- on reduction of the pollution of water and soil for their disposal in the environment;
- on the their cost-efficient management, having a beneficial effect on farmers budgets, enabling a strong sustainable economic growth in the agricultural sector.