Garlic wards away greenhouse pests too

20-01-2022    13:04   |    AIPH

An EU funded project seeks to develop and introduce commercial formulations of the new environmentally sustainable fumigants.

Protecting the environment has become an urgent priority in all walks of life. Simply put, “there is no planet B”. Comprehensive research and public discussions are more and more in support of legislation against soil degradation, toxic chemicals, climate change, and pollinator mortality. And these actions will impact ornamental production.

Why are we interested in bio fumigants?

The impact of the sustainability debate on agriculture is, of course, tremendous and floriculture is no exception: In fact, it probably is one of the most affected sectors since, at one end, increasingly stringent restrictions heavily limit the pest and disease control products allowed for use, yet, in the end, customers expect perfect unblemished long-lasting flowers. Achieving this is no easy feat. That is why we were interested to learn more about an EU funded project to develop sustainable fumigants to control whiteflies (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) and botrytis or grey mould (Botrytis cinerea) – possibly two of the worst problems attacking flowers and ornamental plants, capable of rendering them completely unmarketable. They also pose severe problems in the greenhouse production of fruits and vegetables.

Who is behind the project?

This project has brought policymakers, investment companies and commercial pesticide companies together to identify and develop bio-based fumigants.

Finnova Foundation is an EU level organisation that supports financing for sustainable development.

FumiHogar is a Belgian/Spanish company with long experience in pest fumigation.

What is the goal?

The project aims at developing fumigants based on natural black garlic extract (Allium sativum), which has fungicidal properties and pyrethrum, a natural insecticide obtained from several flowers particularly Tanacetum cinerariifolium. Application of these natural ingredients as fumigants is done via “smoke cans”, a straightforward technology that is long-proven for efficacy and low risk.

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