Action 3: Development and implementation of Low Input Crop Management (LCM) System
This Action took place to develop and implement a Low input Crop Management system (LCM) that focused on the reduced use of pesticides through non-chemical/alternative control methods of weeds, pests and diseases. It also favored those pesticides that presented a lower risk to human health and that of the environment. Additionally, the LCM system is aimed at the rationalized use of nitrogen fertilizers for surface water and groundwater protection taking into account both EU Directives and also local needs. The LCM system incorporates principles of: a) existing Integrated Crop Management Sectoral National Standards (AGRO 2.1 and 2.2 developed by Agrocert) and International Standards (e.g. EUREPGAP) and b) organic farming protocols, where feasible, according to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 on organic production of agricultural products. The LCM system is being implemented over approximately 900 ha of cotton, corn and plum tomato for two growing seasons (2010 and 2011). Experts have been providing the appropriate organizational structure and training, enabling the successful implementation of the LCM system. End-users (professional sprayers and farmers) and local advisors declared their willingness to adopt the basic LCM principles and to minimize pesticide inputs.