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SAFIR - Safe and High Quality Food Production using Poor Quality Waters and Improved Irrigation Systems and Management


The SAFIR project has been developed in order to deal with the issues of better food quality and new irrigation systems. Three important objectives have been envisaged: new irrigation systems; quality and safety of fresh and processed food from 'farm to fork; and the feasibility and applications of the system to the food production sector, through the identification of the financial and economic aspects, and institutional and consumer barriers.

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The present proposal addresses two fundamental problems that over the past decade increasingly have become concerns of the general public: the one problem being the jeopardizing of safety and quality of our food products, while the other being the increasing competition for clean fresh water.
The proposed project has a multi-disciplinary approach, which integrate the European as well as the global dimension of the EU-policy on food quality and safety. The main driving force behind the project idea is new research results that demonstrate irrigation pattern can increase the water use efficiency as well as the quality of vegetable crops. Furthermore, have recent innovations in the water treatment and irrigation industry shown potential for the use of low quality water resources, such as rivers and other surface water, for irrigation of vegetable crops without jeopardizing food safety or quality.
The proposal includes three components:
<BR> 1) The technological development of water saving irrigation systems and management for use of low quality water resources. Technological advances will be made in the field of cost effective tertiary water treatment technology for on-farm use. Irrigation equipment for sub-surface irrigation systems will be tested in the field and developed to facilitate a new water saving strategy, PRD-irrigation, which improves water use efficiency and the quality of the produce.
<BR>2) Impact of the technology on product quality and safety, production system and the environment as well as a risk assessment from farm to fork.
<BR>3) A component concerning the feasibility and application of the system.
The financial and economic aspects will be investigated and institutional and consumer barriers will be identified. Decision Support System will be developed for the on-farm management of water resources. A range of dissemination activities addressing national and EU authorities, commercial stakeholders from the food sector, and farmers' organizations is included.

<P>For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> or the <a href="; target="_blank">SAFIR </a> Web sites.

Plauborg, Finn Lars
University of Aarhus
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