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Spain: Biodegradable Mulch OG seeks solutions for Murcian horticultural crops

A group of leading companies in fruit and vegetable production in the Region of Murcia has collaborated with Proexport in the launch of the Biodegradable Mulches Operating Group (ACBD). This body is currently in charge of an innovation project, whose goal is to develop new techniques that can help optimize the degradation of biodegradable polymers used as mulch in intensive horticultural crops of the Region of Murcia.

"We want to accelerate its degradation, but due to the weather and soil conditions we have in our Region, this type of biodegradable mulch won't degrade within the most optimal time. This causes problems in the crops due to the traces that are left in the field," explains Josefa López Marín, researcher of the Horticulture team at IMIDA.

The ACBD Operative Group wants to help horticultural farms in the Region of Murcia become more competitive by developing techniques that can facilitate the composting of biodegradable plastics in the soil by the end of the crop's cultivation period, as this could prevent large pieces of plastics from having an impact on the quality of the final product or affecting the neighboring plantations.

"The project will give a strong boost to productive agriculture and will stand out for its sustainable nature, given its capacity to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated and improve water management and phytosanitary controls, resulting in significant savings," explains the secretary of the Operative Group and technical director of Proexport, Abelardo Hernández.

The Biodegradable Mulch Operating Group (ACBD) is made up of the companies Verdimed, Fruca Marketing, Kernel Export, Bonduelle, Campo de Lorca and the Murcian association PROEXPORT. Together they collaborate with IMIDA and CEBAS researchers for the development of this agrarian innovation program, which is funded by the European Union's FEADER funds and the CARM, within the framework of the RDP of the Region of Murcia.

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