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PURE: reducing pesticide use through integrated protection

PURE European project aims to meet the demand for food preserving environmental resources. Agriculture must increase the quantity and quality of harvested products while reducing its environmental footprint. Coordinated by INRA, this project combines fourteen research institutes and universities in Europe, two agricultural development organizations, five industries and organization consulting and project management.

Le projet européen PURE, vise à satisfaire la demande alimentaire en préservant les ressources environnementales.. © inra
Updated on 02/05/2013
Published on 12/05/2011

Ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of farming systems while reducing the use of pesticides is a major challenge. PURE will focus on supplying integrated crop protection solutions and a toolbox for their implementation in major European farming systems (annual arable and vegetable crops, perennial crops and protected crops) where a reduction in pesticide use and improved pest control will have a notable impact.

For each of the six farming systems chosen**, and taking account of the diversity of biological, agronomic and economic conditions prevailing in Europe, PURE will combine existing methods with new tools in the context of novel integrated protection solutions. These solutions will range from simple combinations of tactical control methods to more ambitious techniques involving strategic changes. With its industrial partners, PURE will benefit from recent advances in several disciplines in order to enhance integrated crop protection solutions with innovative systems for diagnosis, decision-making or control using bio-products and strategies focused on ecological regulation and the sustainability of control methods.

PURE will test the efficacy, practicality and pertinence of these solutions under the conditions that prevail in the main European production regions through on-station and on-farm experiments, and ensure a comparative assessment of their environmental, economic and social sustainability.

By associating both researchers and stakeholders in crop protection (farmers, advisors, policy-makers and stakeholders in the food supply chain), PURE will facilitate the adoption of these innovative solutions. In this way, PURE will contribute to reducing the risks to human and environmental health caused by the use of, and dependency on, pesticides, and enable the initiation of regulations on pesticides.

* PURE has been launched in pursuance of the ENDURE network, which worked for four years on exploring options to improve control methods against crop pests and to render farming systems less dependent on pesticide use. The results of its work were presented to European stakeholders in crop protection during an international conference in Paris in November 2010.
** Wheat-based crop rotations, maize-based crop rotations, field vegetables, pomefruit, grapevine, protected tomato crops.

Scientific contact(s):

  • Françoise LESCOURRET (+33 (0)4 32 72 24 53) Unité de recherche Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles - Avignon