To meet both the worldwide demand for food security and new environmental needs, agriculture must increase food production and quality while decreasing its ecological footprint. Ensuring sustainability and competitiveness with reduced pesticide inputs is a major challenge.
PURE will provide integrated pest management (IPM) solutions and a practical toolbox for their implementation in key European farming systems (annual arable and vegetable, perennial, and protected crops) in which reduction of pesticide use and better control of pests will have major effects. PURE will exploit recent advances in emerging technologies, plant-pest-enemies interactions, soil and landscape ecology and pest evolution to feed IPM solutions with innovative diagnostic and decision support systems, physical devices and bio-products, strategies for ecological pest regulation and improved durability of control methods.
For each selected farming system, PURE will combine existing methods with new tools and technologies into novel IPM solutions addressing the biological, agronomical and economical diversity in Europe. IPM solutions will range from easy to adopt combinations of tactical control methods to more ambitious solutions involving strategic changes at farm level. PURE will test the efficacy, practicability and relevance of IPM solutions under the agro-ecosystems and farming conditions of the main broad European regions by on-station and on-farm experiments and will perform a comparative assessment of their environmental, economic and social sustainability. By jointly involving researchers and the key actors of pest management (farmers, advisors, policy makers and actors of the food supply chain) in design and assessment, PURE will facilitate the adoption of these innovative IPM solutions.
PURE will thereby contribute to reduce the risks to human health and the environment and the dependence on pesticides and will facilitate the implementation of the pesticides package legislation.