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Enhancing the use of alternative fertilisers


A comprehensive network of nine multidisciplinary actors joined its forces around a common challenge: demonstrating the technical, economic, and environmental feasibility and safe use of a wide portfolio of alternative fertilising products, encourage their use and facilitate the replacement of synthetic and mineral fertilization.

Reducing the environmental impact and the external nutrient dependence in agriculture

Kicked off last September in Ghent (BE), the Novafert project aims to bring together the necessary information for efficient and safe use of fertilising products to aid decision-making on valorisation employed in nutrient recovery, based on actual needs on the regional level and in the market across the EU.

With its entry in force on July 16th 2022, the new Fertilising Product Regulation (EU 2019/1009) repealing the Fertiliser Regulation EC 2003/2003, increases the number of CE-marked alternative fertilising products on the EU’s market, including organic, organo-mineral and mineral bio-based fertilisers by reducing dependency on imported mineral fertilisers. However, the acceptance of these novel alternative fertilising products requires knowledge sharing among farmers and citizens about their fertilizing efficiency and safety.

To achieve this, Novafert will map existing alternative fertilising products across Europe and develop an Atlas of EU nutrient-oriented living labs, with the aim to support the development of sustainable local value chains.

In doing so, the project will orientate the production and the application of alternative fertilising products according to their best environmental performances. By regionally contextualizing and interlinking all main recovering technologies and products, and technically connecting all value chains and key relevant stakeholders in 7 regional working groups and 7-10 lighthouse demo’s, NOVAFERT will foster the sustainable use and management of alternative fertilising products in Europe. A portfolio of support policies and legislative instruments suitable for local deployment in the EU regions through 7 specific action plans and 4 policy briefs will provide new opportunities to enable a bottom-up policy coherence, starting from the needs and aspirations of local and regional stakeholders, creating a bridge between European policies and programmes.

This will pave the way to market alternative fertilising products originating from secondary raw
materials by bringing evidence-based scientific support to the European policymakers and overcoming existing barriers for the safe use of these products in European farmlands.

In addition, these strategies will be helpful to enhance the uptake of alternative fertilising products and contribute in the long term to recommending directional guidelines for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The Novafert consortium

The Novafert Consortium is composed by 9 partners from 6 different EU countries. It represents a synergistic balance of complementary skills, resources and European reach to constitute a complete value chain of actors able to accomplish together the work plan and the project objectives.