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Replacement of Contentious Inputs in organic farming Systems

The overall objective of the project is to promote the development and facilitate the adoption of costefficient and environmentally safe tools and technologies to phase out the dependency on and use of contentious inputs in organic farming. RELACS aims to reduce the use of copper and mineral oil in plant protection, identify solutions to increase the use of organic plant nutrients, provide solutions to replace
anti-worm drugs (anthelmintics) in small ruminants, antibiotics in milk dairy cows and synthetic vitamins in poultry and livestock production.

To pursue its aims, RELACS will take a comprehensive overview of the use of these products and carry out an evaluation of the need for external inputs in organic plants and animal production.
The project will focus on research directed at identifying marketable solutions which are already in an advanced development stage (TRL≥6) in the phasing out of copper, mineral oil and anthelmintics. It will also provide decision support in order to reduce the use of antibiotics, explore and develop alternative approaches to phase out the use of synthetic vitamins, and identify alternative sources of natural vitamins. Products and management practices will be evaluated under different pedo-climatic and farming conditions in the EU and in other Mediterranean countries.

RELACS will also develop a roadmap for the implementation of solutions through the analysis of the social and economic conditions required to accept and adopt alternative treatments. It will provide support to EU policies in the relevant areas, to develop fair, reliable and actionable regulations. An advisory network in 12 European countries will facilitate the dissemination and adoption of the tools and techniques. RELACS builds on results of previous research projects and takes far-advanced solutions forward, to provide farmers with useful tools in the medium term.

RELACS adopted a multi-actor approach, as it was developed by involving actors from research, farming, advisory services and industry. These actors will collaborate for the entire duration of the project.