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Science in Smart Agriculture Discussion
Finnish start-up Solar Foods makes food out of thin air
Solar Foods is a Finnish food tech startup that has created a way to produce a new, natural source of protein just out of air and electricity. What started as a research project carried out by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and LUT University has now grown into a successful start-up with more than 20 employees. Solar Foods has set itself an ambitious target: to revolutionise food production and help solve world hunger and the environmental problems caused by agricultural practices.
Commission adopts stringent residue limits for pesticides to protect pollinators
On 02.02.2023 the Commission adopted new rules which will, once applicable, lower the Maximum Residues Levels (MRLs) of two pesticides in food. Assessments by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have shown that the two chemicals, belonging to the group of neonicotinoid pesticides, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, pose a high risk to bees and contribute to the global decline of pollinators. For this reason, their outdoor use has already been banned in the EU in 2018.
The European Commission launches the rural observatory
Are you searching for the population density, the average distance to healthcare facilities or the broadband speed in any rural area, municipality, or region in the European Union? It is now possible thanks to the newly launched rural observatory.
Food security and ecosystem resilience: Commission boosts action on pollinators
On 24th January, the Commission presented 'A New Deal for Pollinators' to tackle the alarming decline in wild pollinating insects in Europe, revising the 2018 EU Pollinators Initiative.
House cricket becomes third insect authorized as food ingredient for the EU market
The Commission has authorized the marketing of house crickets (Acheta domesticus) as novel food in the EU. It is the third insect which has been successfully approved for consumption and follows previous authorisations given last July for the dried yellow mealworm, and in November for the migratory locust, reported eureporter.co. The house cricket will be available in its entirety, either frozen or dried, and powder.
Eurostat: Predominantly rural regions experience depopulation
Based on the urban–rural typology, predominantly rural regions accounted for almost half (45%) of the EU’s area in 2021. However, according to population data on 1 January 2021, only 21% of the EU population lived in rural regions. Over the period 2015-2020, the population of predominantly rural regions fell, on average, 0.1% each year, while almost no change was recorded in the population of intermediate regions. On the other hand, the population of predominantly urban regions rose, on average, 0.4% each year.
Organic farming in the EU: a decade of growth
The share of EU agricultural land under organic farming increased by more than 50% over the period 2012-2020, with an annual increase of 5.7%. In 2020, 9.1% of the EU’s agricultural area was farmed organically, reported the European Commission. On average, though with substantial variation across Member States, organic farms are bigger than conventional farms and run by younger farm managers.
Commission invites comments on draft Guidelines for sustainability agreements in agriculture
The European Commission launched a public consultation inviting all interested parties to comment on its draft proposal for Guidelines on how to design sustainability agreements in the field of agriculture (‘Guidelines') using the novel exclusion from EU competition rules introduced during the recent reform of the common agricultural policy (‘CAP').