ACTION 4: Development of alternative agricultural practices – Lab experiments (Italy)

Responsible Beneficiary: Laboratorio Chimico CCIAA

Action 4 also includes lab experiments in order to evaluate the processed solid wastes (composts) and wastewaters as derived from the different methods/technologies screened and evaluated so far, regarding their suitability to promote crop production and quality, and the potential effect on soil properties. Finally, the responsible beneficiary will propose new cultivation methods for some key cultivated crops in Italy.

The action includes the following activities:

  1. Evaluation of solid wastes and wastewaters’ properties regarding the effect on soil and plant growth. Lab experiments will be carried out to assess the effects of wastes applied on soil for agricultural purposes. Different soil types and application ratios will be considered to cover as many as possible cases in Italy and in Mediterranean countries. However, as far as the application ratio is concerned, and since the cases are too many, scientists will focus on pilot crops selected from the most common cultivated crops in Italy and which will be used in the demonstration Action 6.
  2. Development of new cultivation methods. Results obtained after evaluation will be used to develop specific agricultural practices for the most common cultivated crops in Italy. Chemical composition of treated and untreated wastes, effects on soil properties and plant growth, germination factors, and input needs of cultivations will be considered to develop new practices. Of great significant will be the results regarding the capability of different soil types to retain or to lose nutrients added through irrigation/fertilization with wastes, which will be considered in order to adjust the practices accordingly and to avoid excess fertilization, soil degradation and water losses.

Unprocessed wastes will be also tested in lab, mainly according to the traditional application methods followed by farmers, and the results will be also evaluated.

The Italian beneficiary will be responsible for the collection and transfer of wastes produced in Italy. Experiments will be carried at the premises of Laboratorio Chimico Merceologico belonging to the Chamber of Commerce of Savona in cooperation with CERSAA.