A new project to develop innovative products to control soil pests which will help farmers improve the quality of their crops, has been launched by Swansea University, with crop protection specialist Certis Europe as the only industry partner.
The ‘Novel fungal volatile compounds for pest control (Fumigate)’ project is supported by the Welsh Government EU Innovation funding through its Smart Expertise programme and will run for 18 months and will involve two end-user partners, Puffin Produce Ltd. and Maelor Forest Nurseries, both from the UK.
This project will centre on developing new products based on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that will have the ability to control soil pests such as nematodes and slugs. VOCs will be developed alongside the research activities of the Certis Biorational Innovation Team and will also involve expertise from its Speciality Crop and Potato Portfolios. It will be in synergy with other projects dedicated to soil pest management with Certis funding or external resources.
Results will provide deeper knowledge of the interactions of VOCs with different soil factors in order to improve their efficacy. Some demo activities will be carried out at the farm level by the UK-based end-user partners in the project to demonstrate the value for the farmers, in collaboration with the Certis UK team.
Focus on biorational solutions
Jan Mostert, Head of the Biorational Innovation Team in Certis, said: ”This new research project fits well with our focus in Certis to develop new biorational solutions in the soil pest management sector at a time when farmers are under pressure for technical solutions. We are happy to be partners in this project led by Swansea University, with which we have a long history of cooperation.”
Professor Tariq Butt who is leading the project for Swansea University added: “I am delighted to be involved in this collaboration which I am sure will pioneer some new, exciting and environmentally friendly pest control solutions which will have the potential to improve the productivity and quality of crops in the future.”
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething commented: “We are committed to creating a stronger, fairer and greener country and will invest in research, development and innovation which lead to real benefits for people and helps to move Wales forward. I’m pleased we can support Fumigate, which will help to protect our environment and tackle climate change.”
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