NECOTDIM project

Researchers develop a new zero-residue ant insecticide to deal with the 'cotonet' plague

A group of researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) is working within the framework of the NECOTDIM project in the development of a new strategy to control various species of pseudococci pests, commonly called cotonets, in citrus and persimmon crops. The researchers' plan is to control ant populations, which don't allow carrying out the biological control of the cotonets effectively, by using zero residue treatments with microencapsulated insecticides.

Researchers from the Valencian Center for Irrigation Studies (CVER) and the University Institute for the Conservation and Improvement of Valencian Agrodiversity (COMAV) are also participating in the project. The project is being coordinated by Inesfly Corporation and financed by the Valencian Agency for Innovation of the Generalitat Valenciana. The IVIA, the Coarval cooperative, and the Intercoop cooperative group are also working in it.

In the next two and a half years, the UPV team of researchers will work on the development of this insecticide, evaluating it under controlled laboratory conditions to determine its impact on soils and leachates; after that, they will analyze the effect of the product in natural field conditions, determining the environmental behavior and the effectiveness of its application.

The study is framed within the Sustainable Development Goal 15 to protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, which strives to achieve a land degradation-neutral world by 2030.

Pseudococcids are one of the great threats to Valencian agriculture, as they can damage up to 80% of the production. This season alone, they have generated losses of 70,000 to 80,000 tons of persimmons, according to AVA-Asaja.




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