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[en] The Mediterranean region is one of the most water-scarce regions of the world where intensive agriculture consumes more than 50 % of the water resources playing a critical role in the intensification of water stress. In this regard, industrial wastewater reuse in agriculture represents an unconventional water supply to the improvement of the water use efficiency in Mediterranean countries. Besides, the implementation of a strategy to treat and reuse WW from agro-food industries in agriculture will let a reduction of the water footprint of these types of industries (Inyibor et al., 2019).
[en] Fruit and vegetable processing (FVP) industry is one of the largest industrial sectors in Europe, and its activities include the preparation, preservation, canning, freezing and drying of fresh FV and the manufacture of juices. When fruits and vegetables are cleaned and processed, their residues are transferred to water both in solid and dissolved form. These effluents contain high organic and nutrient loads. Currently, the aerobic digestion is the pre-treatment system used in the FVP industry effluents and then it is sent to a municipal treatment plant. However, this on-site treatment generates large amounts of sludge that must be managed as waste. This dumping of sludge has clear negative environmental aspects.
[en] The main purpose of this study was to analyze the perceived outcomes of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) technologies adoption in order to sustain citrus farms in Mazandaran province, Iran. Study population consisted of all citrus growers in the villages of 12 counties of Mazandaran province, which a sample of 290 orchardmen were selected through a proportional random sampling technique. A questionnaire was designed to collect data which was both valid and reliable according to expert opinion and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient respectively. The results of the factor analysis showed that “market access and safe product exports,” “consumer’ health and environment-friendly behavior,” “safe production and public demand,” and “information sharing and strengthening local associations” were the four perceived outcomes of GAPs technologies adoption in citrus farms of Iran. These factors explained 65.02% of the total variance. These four perceived outputs of GAPs support economic, environmental, and social sustainability dimensions respectively.
[en] The use of pesticides in agricultural practices is nowadays still necessary to ensure crop protection and thus a sustained food production. These substances, therefore, play an essential role in our society. However, pesticides are designed to dissuade, incapacitate or kill living organisms, and although as time goes by these are more selective and less persistent, the employment of these kind of chemicals always poses risks to humans and other non-target living organisms, especially if the environment becomes contaminated with them. A case in point is the presence of neonicotinoid insecticides in water compartments.
[en] In a circular economy context, agrofood industries have to seek more efficient ways for water and resources management. However, for an efficient management of water and wastewater, different aspects, all of them interrelated, must be taken into account: water-energy nexus, economical costs, potential resource recovery or social and environmental impacts among others. This makes that’s electing the optimum solution for water management in an industry is not a straightforward task. Industrial operators face two main challenges trying to obtain these solutions in their industries. First, to obtain reliable information about water consumptions and qualities at different points of the water network and second, to identify the best solution for water management considering at the same time water quality, energy, costs and possibility of resources recovery. In an industry 4.0 context and considering these two aspects, it´s clear that new tools for acquiring relevant information of the studied water network and simulation tools for decision support for the exploration of different alternatives are presented as very useful tools for finding efficient solutions.
[en] During the evolution of the human, agriculture and land utilization was inevitably connected with survival in nature. Human activity was not only restricted to the production of agricultural products but also extended into many other sectors, such as the production of several industrial-made products, mining, and usage of fossil fuels as a standard method of generating electricity. However, the intense urbanization phenomenon ultimately caused, during the last few decades, the degradation of our natural environment. As a result, the quality (and quantity) of produced food we consume has significantly decreased. The need for the evolution of alternative methods of cultivation is constant and always a hot topic, especially in order to confront the multiple problems that conventional agriculture has. Hydroponics, an innovative cultivation method, comes to solve many of these problems.
[en] In the context of urban agriculture, where soils are frequently contaminated with metal(loid)s (TM), we studied the influence of vermicompost amendments on symbiotic fungal communities associated with plants grown in two metal-rich soils. Leek (Allium porrum L.) plants were grown with or without vermicompost in two metal-rich soils characterized by either geogenic or anthropogenic TM sources, to assess the influence of pollutant origin on soil-plant transfer. Fungal communities associated with the leek roots were identified by high throughput Illumina MiSeq and TM contents were measured using mass spectrometry. Vermicompost addition led to a dramatic change in the fungal community with a loss of diversity in the two tested soils. This effect could partially explain the changes in metal transfer at the soil-AMF-plant interface. Our results suggest being careful while using composts when growing edibles in contaminated soils. More generally, this study highlights the need for further research in the field of fungal communities to refine practical recommendations to gardeners. .
[en] The temporal evolution of soil organic carbon (SOC) is of major importance given its status as a key parameter in many soil functions. Furthermore, soils constitute an important reservoir of carbon in our environment. In light of climate change, consistent SOC data over extended periods in combination with information on agricultural management are much required, but still scarce. We report SOC changes in the topsoil (0–20 cm) of Swiss cropland measured at well-defined monitoring sites resampled every 5 years from 1990 to 2014 by the Swiss Soil Monitoring Network NABO using consistent sampling protocols and quality assurance. Data on agricultural management practices were retrieved from farmers. Overall, SOC remained stable for the ensemble of monitoring sites, although increasing and decreasing trends were observed for individual sites, ranging from − 11 to + 16% relative change per decade. Changes in the agricultural management of cropland triggered substantial changes in SOC contents for some sites. Moreover, sites with a low ratio of SOC/clay (< 0.1) generally showed more positive trends than sites with higher ratios. We presume that SOC was either at or near steady state, given the consistency of management practices over the last few decades. Finally, our study provides insights into the uncertainties related to (real-world) SOC monitoring and underlines the relevance of short-term SOC variations that could hamper the detection of long-term trends. The minimum detectable change (MDC) by the applied monitoring scheme is estimated at 0.35% per year, in relative terms.
[en] In Palestine, open dumping and/or burning the waste, including agricultural waste, are prevalent practices resulting in emitting leachate and acidifying greenhouse gases. Composting the agricultural waste can reduce emissions and provide ‘compost’ as an organic fertilizer and soil amendment; yet, it has not been implemented at the national level. To develop a local marketing strategy for compost, this study views a need to identify farmers’ perceptions and willingness of compost production and use in agriculture and examine various socioeconomic, agricultural, and individual factors shaping them. The case of Wadi al-Far’a watershed (WFW) is investigated, where farmers practice inappropriate waste disposal and overuse of agrochemicals. A semi-structured questionnaire is administered to 409 farmers through face-to-face interviews. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, Chi-square test, and binary logistic regression are used for data analysis. High acceptance level (84%) is disclosed among farmers in WFW for the hypothetical idea of producing and using compost. Farmers also have high, yet lower, willingness level (63.6%) of the more salient option of producing compost themselves and using it in agriculture. Tenure systems, large cultivated areas, rainfed irrigation, and lack of access to training sessions inhibit farmers’ acceptance of the idea of compost production (overall p value = 0.000). Large cultivated areas and rainfed irrigation is also associated with farmers’ unwillingness to produce compost, besides high household monthly income, animal or mixed animal-plant farming, experience in compost production, and use of pesticides (overall p value = 0.000).
[en] The focal point of this study is the usage of Pine apple leaf fiber (PALF) from the agricultural waste to produce epoxy based composites and to gauge the hybridizing effect and stacking sequences on the performance of PALF (P)/basalt (B) fiber composites, specifically their static and dynamic mechanical properties. High modulus unidirectional basalt fabric layers were added to PALF composite to achieve better specific properties and to retain its damping properties. Pure PALF, pure basalt and PALF/Basalt hybrid laminates of approximately constant thickness were prepared using the hand layup method followed by compression moulding technique. Properties like, tensile, flexural and dynamic mechanical properties of these composite laminates were experimentally assessed as per ASTM standards. From the outcomes it is exhibited that hybridization of PALF with basalt fibre improves the tensile, flexural and dynamic mechanical properties. Furthermore, the hybrid composite with basalt as skin exhibited better properties than PALF as skin. (paper)