EUPHOROS was a four-year project aiming at developing a sustainable greenhouse system that does not need any fossil energy & minimizes carbon footprint of equipment; with no waste of water nor emission of fertilizers and full recycling of the substrate; with minimal need of plant protective chemicals yet with high productivity and resource use efficiency.
Three commodity-based work packages (WP) have developed a diversity of innovative tools and systems to reduce energy, water, fertilisers, pesticide consumption, and waste. Another WP optimized the growing environment, developing innovative but robust monitoring tools for performance assessment, early detection and response management. The balance between environment and economy was addressed in a dedicated WP, which quantified the reduction of resource input and carbon footprint delivered by each component of this project, together with the financial/economic consequences.
Even an incremental adoption by the growers of the project results will increase competitiveness while reducing resource use of the European greenhouse production. A truly continental impact will be achieved by developing systems that are anchored in the local speciality of greenhouse industries and which are seen to respond to the diversity of climatic, economic and environmental constraints across Europe. This will be ensured by installing, testing, fine-tuning and evaluating locally relevant combinations of crops (tomato and/or rose), equipment, covering materials, cultivation techniques, monitoring and control systems in The Netherlands, Spain and Hungary. The participation of 5 commercial partners and a big growers’ organization guaranteed fast implementation of the most promising results.
The involvement of local stakeholders to give feed-back, and extended dissemination activities, like national & international workshops and a training course, were included to ensure the convergence of project results with market expectations and acceptance.