The RUSTICA European Project, what interests for farmers?
In Pays de la Loire region, RUSTICA project will take place in one of the 17 National Gross Market infrastructures (Marché d’Intérêt National or “MIN”), in the city of Angers. Here, tons of waste are generated each year by unsold fruits and vegetables.
After giving a part of these fruits and vegetables to a local charity association, wholesalers still have a huge amount of waste which will end up in the trash.
Then, the current situation is to send this waste to be composted.
At the regional level, there is a real interest in the bioeconomy business development and the region has great opportunities with cooperatives and producers in the plant sector, who could be both producers of this waste and users of biofertilizers.
The Chamber of Agriculture of Pays de la Loire is the French partner of RUSTICA project and will work on a pilot site to produce and experiment innovative bio-based fertilisers promoted in RUSTICA project.
With the idea of studying the technical and economic feasibility of bio-based fertilisers’ production, the European project RUSTICA opens new markets and new perspectives of valorisation of fruits and vegetables wastes for farmers. The main objective of the project is to transform this waste into highly added value products. This could be helpful for farmers to diversify their activities and enhance their waste for selling to other farmers, companies or cooperatives. Farmers could be integrated in a circular economy with benefits for all.
Likewise, bio-based fertilisers from technologies tested in RUSTICA aim to be efficient and to become an alternative. It could be a great opportunity for organic farmers of the region who generally use compost and manures. It could be also very attractive for conventional farmers reducing minerals fertilisers, which can damage water and soil quality through years.
The RUSTICA project aims to foster the technical validation, demonstration and implementation of bio-based fertiliser and soil improvement production techniques focusing on waste from the fruit and vegetable agro-food system to close nutrient cycles on a regional level. An estimated 70 million tonnes of dry matter of field crop residues could be sustainably harvested for valorization. However, 1.5 million tonnes is lost. The project wants to bridge this gap between the nutrient losses in the form of agricultural residues and the nutrient imports in Europe by integrating and demonstrating 6 complementary technologies with high nutrient recovery potential to treat residues from the fruit and vegetable sector. For future information, please visit https://rusticaproject.eu/ very soon.
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