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The project Sustainable use of chemical fumigants for the control of soil-borne pathogens in the horticultural sector (SustUse Fumigants) runned from 2010 to 2012. It considered soil-borne pests and diseases management (including both the products to be used and the methods to be applied) a key challenge of crop production in intensive horticulture, with the problems related to the impact of pesticide use on human health and environment.

It encouraged low-input of pesticides, by applying  IPM principles to the management of chemical fumigants, thus supporting the EU policy for achieving the sustainable use of pesticides.

The project promoted the sustainable use of chemical fumigants and of non chemical practices the control of soil-borne pathogens in the horticultural sector in two similar local agro-ecosystems of Mediterranean agriculture (Italy and Greece) and in a system typical of Central Europe (Poland).


Project full title

Sustainable use of chemical fumigants for the control of soil-borne pathogens in the horticultural sector

LIFE08 ENV/IT/00042

LIFE+ component

Environment Policy and Governance, principal objective “Chemicals”


(3 Countries, 9 areas, 24 pilot sites)

Italy (Piedmont Region: Cuneo, Alessandria, Torino and Asti Provinces)

Greece (Peloponissos Region: Messinia, Helia and Achaia areas)

Poland (Mazowieckie and Lodzkie Regions: Grojec/Radom and Skierniewice areas)


3 years, from January 1st, 2010 to December 31st, 2012

Total budget

2,628,355.91 €

EU contribution

1,174,652.96 € (44.69%)



The project was implemented from January 1st, 2010 to December 31st, 2012 and it achieved the following results:

  • In the framework of the implementation of the first action (Promoting sustainable crop protection strategies for soil-borne diseases in horticulture through the identification of pest constraints and the assessment of pest management practices, enabling the growers to make informed decision about control measures): the pest constraints and management in the 9 project areas were identified; the best practices in soil-borne pest management were set up; a common methodology for monitoring occurrence and diagnosis of soil-borne diseases was developed and applied  in 24 pilot sites; more than 268 (out of 60 foreseen) growers and advisors in the Project regions attended project trainings thus  increasing their knowledge in soil borne diseases diagnosis and management. Such interest points out a positive indication in term of project sustainability for the continued positive impact after the end of the project.
  • From the implementation of the second action (Demonstrating the sustainable use of chemical fumigants and non chemical methods of crop protection as good practices in soil-borne pest management): the practices of sustainable use of fumigants have been tested and evaluated and specific guidelines have been established.
  • From the implementation of the third action (Training of the fumigators on best practices related to the pesticide use action): 268 out of 40 technical operators in fumigation (target at the project end )  enhanced their professionalism through practical and theoretical sessions and by participating at the study visits.
  • From the forth action (Assessing the economic and environmental results of the implementation of site-specific fumigant management plans in the pilot sites): the key soil-borne pathogens in the 9 project areas were monitored and the environmental and economic sustainability of fumigant practices proposed was assessed. This allowed to conclude that alternative methods, even when they can fully substitute chemical control, work better when are associated to other methods. Indeed, the association of different practices, either all alternative or chemical and alternative together, has provided in our demonstration trials very interesting results that confirm the correctness of the integrated approach.
  • From the fifth and sixth action: the scientific results of the project were disseminated within the EU and international pathologist community (scientific papers, technical publications, presentation in congresses); the Italian, Polish and Greek growers were informed about sustainable crop disease management (workshops, technical magazines, open days, study tours); the fumigators increased their professionalism and the policy makers took into account the project results in Regional, National and European regulatory framework (National Action Plans of Dir.2009/128 on sustainable use of pesticides).


The Project “SustUse Fumigants” is realized with the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union
(Contract No LIFE08 ENV/IT/000432)
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2015 09:11
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