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2nd Prospective Seminar: "European Chemical Pesticide-Free Agriculture in 2050" with Olivier Mora

On February 14, the COGITO research team hosted a second “Prospective Seminar” at the ULB and had the pleasure of welcoming Olivier Mora, a prospective researcher from the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRAE), to present and discuss the recently published prospective study that he coordinated on "European Chemical Pesticide-Free Agriculture in 2050".


The study was conducted as part of the French national priority research programme “Growing and Protecting Crops Differently,” in conjunction with the European research initiative "Towards Chemical Pesticide-free Agriculture." It examines the possibility of establishing a pesticide-free agricultural model in Europe by 2050, questioning the feasibility of such transitions and its broader implications on production dynamics, land use, trade, and environmental impact. This research offers three scenarios, each depicting pesticide-free agriculture for Europe in 2050, supported with transition strategies, regional examples, and a thorough quantitative analysis of their potential effects across Europe.


The scenarios:


1.       Global and European food chains based on digital technologies and plant immunity for a pesticide-free food market:

2.       European food chains are based on plant halobiont, soil, and food microbiomes for healthy foods and diets.

3.       Complex and diversified landscapes and regional food chains for a one-health European food system


Following Olivier Mora's presentation, we welcomed Philippe Baret, professor at the Faculty of Bioengineering of UCLouvain and research director of the SYTRA research team (Transition of Food Systems). Phillipe led a nuanced discussion on the limits of Olivier Mora’s study and, particularly, on the feasibility of implementing the cited scenarios. Having carried out a prospective study on the future of Walloon agriculture, Philippe brought a critical eye to prospective research methods on transitioning away from pesticides, highlighting the subject's complexities, notably because the agricultural world is a multi-sectorial locked system. He also underlined the intricacies of public and private interests in agricultural policies and the transparency issues among stakeholders. Philippe’s intake was an excellent complement to Olivier Mora’s presentation and initiated a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives with the seminar participants.


The seminar was also a great opportunity for the COGITO team to present its project structure to Olivier Mora and exchange ideas on the methodologies surrounding prospective studies. Olivier provided valuable insights into the methods, especially in creating scenarios.

Stay tuned for more updates from the COGITO research team!


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