Plasma applications for smart and sustainable agriculture (PlAgri, CA19110)

Action chair: Dr Nevena Puać (Institute of Physics Belgrade, Serbia)

Action co-chair: Prof. Dr František Krčma (Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry)

Science communication manager: Dr Gregor Primc (Jozef Stefan Institute)

A continuous increase in demand for food caused by population growth represents a serious challenge for the humankind. Even in regions where food is plentiful, safety of the food cycle is increasingly important. Improving the sustainability of agriculture and at the same time reducing the adverse effects of agriculture on the environment requires efficient technologies that enhance productivity while maintaining food quality and safety.

This COST action aims to investigate the potential of low-temperature plasmas (cold plasmas), as a green alternative to conventional chemicals in agriculture to improve yields, increase size and robustness of plants and reduce (or eliminate) the need for antifungal agents. It will aim to break the classical field boundaries for a new dimension in sustainable agriculture with lower chemical impact.

The Action will address the use of plasmas for treating food and packaging. The Action aims to combine numerous European scientific communities dealing with plasma, biology, agriculture and food processing to identify and develop food production applications.

Transfer of plasma technology to the industry will be based on understanding plasma’s most essential processes with further considerations including (Novel food) legislations, energy consumption, food safety and quality. The Action will help define a new field in science by a coordinated, joint effort across the Europe and broader, through exchange and better use of resources and by intensive study of the basic mechanisms within the context of the well thought out present or future applications.