Ex-post assessment of the selected scenarios after testing in real farming conditions

Within the PURE project, the objective of WP7 was to design more robust IPM solutions to implement for tomato cultivation, not only in high-tech greenhouse systems (North Europe) but also in low-tech farming systems (South Europe). This can be achieved by designing IPM solutions adapted for different levels of greenhouse technology (based on a combination of strategic options and tactic components) that reduce reliance on pesticides and risks to human health while providing cost-effective investment.

On-farm trials have been performed in Italy, France and Spain. Different IPM solutions have been envisaged, both in terms of pests and pathogens control. A cost-benefit analysis has been performed in order to show the economic impact of IPM methodologies chosen.

The general conclusion we draw up from these on-farm experiments and cost benefit analyses is that the IPM strategy based on biological control seemed more expensive but it finally pays for. Two main reasons can be highlighted: first, in the experiments presented there have always been more yield, so more produce to sell; and second, the IPM strategy based on biological control allows the access to exports and markets that pay better.

In the Spanish case, besides the main reasons already stated, the biological control strategy was cheaper than the chemical one, so it resulted twice profitable.

Cropping system: 
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ 2007-2013) under the grant agreement n°265865- PURE