Effective Management of Pests and Harmful Alien Species- Integrated Solutions (EMPHASIS)



Research group


297,500 euros

Funding body

EU H2020

Type of action

Project reference


Plant health is of global importance for sustainable and competitive agriculture and forestry sectors as well as for the protection of biodiversity. The full cost of plant pests is difficult to quantify as their vast negative impact is complex, affecting economic, ecological, environmental, social and human health aspects. While controlling pests has become even more difficult with the policy changes restricting conventional pesticide use approaches. In Directive 2009/128/EC on sustainable use of pesticides, EU member states are required to take measures to promote low pesticide use and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches, There is a clear need to further develop improved prevention and integrated management measures to collectively respond to native and alien pest threats and so maintaining the competitiveness of the agriculture, ensuring a global food security system and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems services in Europe and beyond.
EMPHASIS addresses this need by providing advanced practical solutions on the three internationally agreed key pillars to tackle outstanding plant pest challenges: Prediction, Prevention and Protection. This will be achieved by adopting a strategy for strengthening the connectivity between agricultural research and other system actors through a diversified, cross-cutting approach to participatory research and technology transfer that entails early and sustained engagement with stakeholders, on-going testing and learning, and efforts directed at technical and economic objectives to facilitate co-design, co-development and co-implementation of the response systems as detailed below. The project focuses on the development of new biocontrol agents for whitefly control in vegetable crops and the validation of a new puffer system for codling moth mating disruption in apple orchards. For this, laboratory experiments and validation of results in the field in tomato greenhouses and apple orchards respectively will be carried out.