Funder: European Union (COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
Start time: 19/09/2022
End time: 18/09/2026
Current crop protection in EU agriculture is heavily reliant on chemical pesticides to suppress weeds, pests and pathogens. In view of the serious health and environmental consequences, European public authorities, consumers, and society at large are demanding drastically reduced use of chemical pesticides, in the context of a production of safe, high-quality and affordable food. Furthermore, farmers are calling for research and innovation solutions to protect crops with non-chemical means while maintaining a viable farm economy. A change of direction and paradigm is needed to foster this transition, emphasizing preventive crop protection based on agroecological practices that to prevent pest outbreaks and infestations. The proposed Cost Action T0P-AGRI-Network targets the transition “Towards zer0 Pesticide AGRIculture”, aiming at preparing the future of an agriculture free of synthetic pesticides and of nature-derived pesticides that negatively impact environment and human health. T0P-AGRI-Network tackles this challenge by create and organize a wide research community with the aim to form a European leading network with high and transdisciplinary expertise around the common objective of pesticide-free agriculture, with a particular focus on young scientists. To enable a redesign of the food system as a whole, T0P-AGRI-Network will promote a concerted mobilization of scientists, farmers, processing industries, public authorities and consumers by associating them closely with the activities that will be carried out in the Cost Action.