The European project for the prevention of Xylella Fastidiosa starts its journey

Life Resilience seeks to develop new olive varieties resistant to this disease and more sustainable and productive practices

Carmona hosted on July 17 and 18 the Kick Off Meeting of "Life Resilience: Prevention of X. fastidiosa in intensive olive & almond plantations applying productive green farming practices", a project that seeks to seek sustainable and productive practices for the prevention of Xylella Fastidiosa in the groves of olive and almond tree in intensive.

The main objective of this project, which has a total budget close to three million euros, is to develop olive varieties that are as tolerant as possible to Xylella Fastidiosa and other pathogens, minimizing the losses that so far entails an infected plantation, as well as implementing sustainable practices that help to prevent the spread of the bacteria and increase resistance to outbreaks of pests and pathogens.

The consortium that makes up this project brings together companies and institutions from Spain, Italy and Portugal being its partners: Galpagro, the University of Cordoba, Agrifood Communication, Agrodrone and ASAJA Nacional. In addition, Life Resilience has the participation of Nutriprado and SAHC-Agricultural Society of Herdade do Charqueirao, S.A. in Portugal; and the Italian entities Gruppo Salov and the Istituto per la Valorizzazione del Legno e delle Specie Arboree (IVALSA), belonging to the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche of Italy.

During the meeting the actions to be carried out by each of the partners and the deadlines to be fulfilled were specified, highlighting the importance of disseminating the results of the project, which will try to fight against this disease that threatens the olive and almond trees of the Mediterranean countries. "We will make a technical and scientific disclosure, but also general disclosure, so that all the farmers who want to implement these techniques can access them," explains Teresa Carrillo, director of the R & D Department of Galpagro and director of the Life Resilience project.

"From the University of Córdoba we are already working with crosses between different varieties that we know have some resistance and in the last year of the project potential new and more resistant varieties can be evaluated that can be more interesting for farmers," Diego Barranco explains. , professor at the University of Córdoba.

Agrodrone will contribute to the fight against Xylella the advantages that precision agriculture provides in the monitoring, evaluation and control of crops. "We can have a detailed, quantified and accurate knowledge of the different areas of the farms that will participate in the project. Specifically, we will carry out a soil characterization by means of electrical conductivity sensors and then analyze them using satellite and drone images to identify the evolution of the detected vectors ", said Miguel Córdoba, CEO of this company.

For his part, José Carlos Caballero de Asaja, highlighted the role of the professional agricultural organization in LIFE Resilience, "since it is essential to transmit to farmers the results that are obtained, because this type of studies help them make informed decisions about the olive varieties to choose, the planting system and the practices to be done to prevent this type of diseases ".

As explained by the general director of Agrifood Comunicación, Ricardo Migueláñez, "we want to place the project as a reference in the sector, both for private operators and for public administrations, and that all operators in the olive sector in Spain, Italy and Portugal know and can apply the conclusions of this research, one of the most important that are being developed on the Xylella Fastidiosa throughout Europe".

The project aims to demonstrate that with better sustainable practices and technologies can reduce water consumption and carbon footprint, increase biodiversity and resistance to pathogens without compromising performance; starting from a biological control of the vectors in the environment of the plantations. All the processes that will be carried out during the project are aimed at increasing the system's resilience, quality and environmental sustainability.

In this way we will look for a replicable model of best practices for olive and almond trees, as well as other woody, citrus and vine crops in Europe, increasing their capacity to adapt to climate change and future epidemics.