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P2Green, the European project that aims to validate the potential use of reclaimed water as a biofertilizer for irrigation in La Axarquía (Málaga)

In the context of water scarcity and climate change, it is vital to find solutions. Among them, the recovery of nutrients through the use of reclaimed water for agricultural irrigation stands out, which becomes an alternative that helps conserve available water resources.

Achieving a reduction in environmental impact and creating a more sustainable circular economy system is the objective pursued by the European project  P2GreeN, from the Horizon Europe program and led by Agrathaer, which brought together more than thirty stakeholders from the region of La Axarquía (Málaga) in its first workshop.

Bioazul, Trops, Cetaqua Andalucía, AgriSmart Data and Axaragua, the partners of the Spanish pilot, organized a dynamic event that involved all attendees from the outset. In it, they discussed the potential of reclaimed water for the irrigation of subtropical fruits, as well as the development of an intelligent digital tool for precision agriculture, which is one that makes use of new technologies to improve agricultural activity.

P2Green works around the principle of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recover. The main purpose of this European project is to test the application of biofertilizers generated from urban wastewater and organic solid waste in agriculture. Specifically, in the case of the Spanish pilot, the application of reclaimed water in the irrigation of avocados and mangoes is being investigated.

In this sense, given that the cultivation of these subtropical fruits is very common in this region, the objective of the organized conferences has been to collect information at the local level in order to know the challenges and needs of all interested parties, and thus realize how the P2Green project can contribute to its activity.

The workshop was attended by several representatives of the agricultural sector. Miguel Ángel Díaz, Project Manager of the Water Resources Management area of Cetaqua Andalucía and researcher at P2GreeN, was in charge of opening the session by presenting and bringing the project closer to all those present: “To promote the use of an alternative resource such as water regenerated for agricultural irrigation helps, on the one hand, to preserve the available water resources and, on the other, to reduce the environmental impact and create a more sustainable circular economy system“.

The future of the subtropics in the Axarquía in the context of climate change was another of the topics featured in the conference, led by Iñaki Hormaza, professor and researcher at CSIC-IHSM La Mayora. “With a good knowledge of the cultivation requirements, sustainable subtropical agriculture can be carried out and proper management of the water resources available in the area” he explained during his presentation.

Then, BIOAZUL presented the NOVAFERT project, an initiative that develops procedures to promote the sustainable use of alternative fertilizers: “In Andalusia, fertilizer products from wastewater and sewage sludge are studied, especially reclaimed water, to promote their use”, explained Pilar Zapata, senior manager of R+D+i projects at BIOAZUL.

Dynamism in the first workshop of the Horizon Europe P2GreeN project

Fostering collaboration between the different stakeholders to address the challenges and needs in La Axarquía was the main objective of this workshop.

In this, conclusions are highlighted, such as the need to raise awareness about the use of reclaimed water to improve its perception, optimize the use of available resources for subtropical cultivation crops and promote digital tools, among others. In addition, the participants shared the existing collaborations and the degree of contribution desired by the parties involved in the project.

Thanks to the active participation of all attendees, the European P2GreeN project will prepare to bring people closer and raise awareness about alternatives such as nutrient recovery, the use of reclaimed water as a biofertilizer in subtropics and the implementation of digital tools for precision agriculture.