Innovative crop protection techniques for the eco-sustainable basil chain

PESTO is a project financed by the Emilia-Romagna Region in the framework of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme, measure 16.1.01, Focus Area 3A. PESTO is a two-years project of Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard (coordination) in collaboration with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC, scientific management), Open Fields, La Felina, Ca’ D’Alfieri and Battistoni farms, Agriform and Barilla G. e R. Fratelli.

PESTO aims to launch a pilot technology transfer initiative for the definition of an integrated protocol aimed at the adoption of innovative products and technologies for the defense against downy mildew in basil. In addition to tolerant varieties and biological and chemical products, the use of activated oxygen (ozone) dissolved in water is also envisaged, to control the disease in field.

Image 1. PESTO activities plan.

Expected results:

  • Integration of small and medium-sized enterprises engaged at various levels in the basil production chain including organic agricultural enterprises located in inland areas with development problems;
  • Development of innovative supply chain operating protocols and transfer of innovation through training and consultancy activities with advantages on the quality of the crop production, operator safety, with qualitative and quantitative advantages for all segments of the supply chain;
  • Environmental sustainability: The use of an integrated approach, with biological defense products and the use of ozone, guarantees a reduction/exclusion to release chemicals into the environment;
  • Technological and sensory quality of the crop and processed products: the application of innovative supply chain protocols should ensure a significant reduction of the occurrence of saprophytes, fungal and bacterial pathogens in the phyllosphere;
  • Advantages in large-scale distribution (GDO): sustainability in production will ensure greater collocability of crop and processed products in the market;
  • Guarantee of higher remuneration for farmers;
  • Availability of a prototype of sprayer for the distribution of ozonated water.



COORDINATOR: Roberto Reggiani, Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard

TECHNICAL-SCIENTIFIC RESPONSIBLE: Prof.ssa Paola Battilani, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza

TIMING: 03/2021 – 03/2023

BUDGET: € 275.180,62;

FUNDING: € 203.863,93

Website European Commission – FEASR:


Project supported by: