Irish partners launch ReNu2Farm, a major European project in soil nutrient sustainability
On Friday, 22nd June, Institute of Technology Carlow joined forces with University of Limerick and Cork Institute of Technology to start the Irish arm of the major European project in soil nutrient sustainability – ReNu2Farm, part funded by Interreg North-West Europe. The European funded project seeks to replace conventional mineral fertilisers with recycling-derived equivalents. Institute of Technology Carlow hosted the national launch event that was opened by the Institute of Technology Carlow President, Dr Patricia Mulcahy, and was prefaced with a keynote talk from Dr Mark Healy of the GENE Group, NUI Galway. Over 60 stakeholders were present from various research organisations, representatives from the fertiliser waste management and agricultural industries, as well as farmers. ReNu2Farm will work closely with associated partners Teagasc, the Southern Waste Region Management Office, the IFA and the larger farming community as part of the project.
ReNu2Farm comprises 10 partners from higher education organisations, research institutes and industry that will work to address the global threat posed to industrial agriculture by the vast depletion of the essential macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N, P, K), without which plants cannot survive. The future of agriculture – and food supplies – necessitates nutrient recycling or composting on a global scale. The ReNu2Farm project will map regions in North-West Europe with both nutrient shortage and surplus with the aim of exchanging recycled nutrients across the regions and foster producer-consumer collaborations. Farmers’ needs will be surveyed during the project and the results used to tailor and develop recycling-derived fertilisers between nutrient surplus and demand regions. The undertaking will help in establishing transnational markets, informing national and EU policy and market barrier reduction. The overall expected outcome by the end of the project will be the replacement of conventional mineral NPK fertilisers by recycling-derived fertilisers.
Image: The ReNu2Farm Irish team at the national launch in the Institute of Technology Carlow on June 22nd. From left to right: Dr Joe Harrington (Head of School, School of Building and Civil Engineering, Cork Institute of Technology), Dr Patrick Forrestal (Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Wexford), Dr Vesna Jaksic (Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Cork Institute of Technology), Mr Peter Linden (IFA, Smart Farming Programme), Dr Thomaé Kakouli-Duarte (enviroCORE, Department of Science and Health, Institute of Technology Carlow), Ms Sarah O’Brien (Research and Commercialisation Support Centre, Institute of Technology Carlow), Dr Achim Schmalenberger (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Limerick), Dr Kieran Germaine (enviroCORE, Department of Science and Health, Institute of Technology Carlow), Dr David Dowling (enviroCORE and Head of Faculty of Science, Institute of Technology Carlow).
For reference: Alma Feeley, Communications Office, Institute of Technology Carlow
E: alma.feeley@itcarlow T: 059 9175098/ 087 8204934