The project, that counts on the participation of Spanish and Italian companies and institutions, is coordinated by the Agrifood Research and Technology Centre (CITA) of Aragon.
The Agrifood Research and Technology Centre (CITA) of Aragon, an organisation that depends on the Department of Innovation, Research and Universities, coordinates the European project Life “ARIMEDIA”, in which several Spanish and Italian institutions and companies participate to reduce the ammonia emissions in the Mediterranean agriculture through innovative techniques for the fertilisation/irrigation with slurry.
“ARIMEDA” has a global Budget of €2.6 million for 4 years, and it expects to reduce the evaporation of ammonia when spreading slurry on the fields. Ammonia is one of the main contaminant gases due to its repercussion on the air quality, and it affects both the environment and the health of people and animals.
It is expected to prove that the application of the digested liquid fraction of the slurry, diluted as a fertiliser through innovative irrigation systems with pivots and superficial or subsurface dripping, are effective techniques for reducing the ammonia emissions to the atmosphere in comparison with the traditional application of slurry with a fan spraying technique. It is expected to attain a decrease of the emissions by 50% and 90% with the irrigation with pivots and with subsurface dripping, respectively. The study’s goal is also to promote the recycling of nutrients in extensive irrigable crops in Mediterranean agricultural regions. Ms. Dolores Quílez, researcher at the CITA and coordinator of the project, explains that: “Apart from reducing the ammonia emissions, we want to maximise the recycling of nutrients, closing the slurry cycle.”
In order to carry out the tasks, experimental plots shall be used in the town of Ejea de los Caballeros and in the La Melusa estate, which is a property of the Hydrographic Confederation of the Ebro river.
The participants are the Food and Agriculture Research and Technology Centre (CITA); the irrigation systems company REGABER, with a local office in Huesca; the company SEGALES, specialised in solid/liquid separation equipments, with its headquarters in Barcelona; and the Stockbreeders’ Association Ejea, with 250 partners in the county of Cinco Villas. On the Italian side, we have the University of Milan; the company Acquafert, specialised in irrigation; the consultancy Agriter Servizi SRL, specialised in biogas; and the Breeders’ Association of Lombardy.