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Stevia rebaudiana as a diversification alternative for European Tobacco Farmers to strengthen the European Competitiveness (GO4STEVIA)
Start date: Feb 1, 2013, End date: Jan 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The CAP reform for the tobacco sector (EG Nr. 864/2004) has the aim to phase out the subsidy payment for tobacco cultivation on Dec 31, 2013. This will have a great impact on the tobacco growers in terms of income and employment. Without a diversification alternative with a high added value most of European Tobacco farms must close. The DIVTOB and the CoAlTa-Project on diversification of Tobacco farms identified Stevia rebaudiana as one of the most promising economic opportunities for the traditional small Tobacco family farms (2-10 ha total farm area) in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.Therefore the Go4Stevia proposal has the strategic objective to solve a problem of livelihood for EU tobacco farmers integrated in SME Associations from four EU Member States. The scientific and technical objective of the Go4Stevia project is to develop a new and innovative economic opportunity for European Tobacco farmers. This shall be achieved by a consortium from 13 partners of 6 EU Member States composed by 5 SME Associations from 4 member states as beneficiaries, 3 RTD-performers with complementary expertise and 5 other participants as end-users.The Go4Stevia project aims to beam the EU in the future international trade sector of Stevia rebaudiana and Stevia products in a strong competitive position by the development of a Novel Food as an innovative food ingredient on the basis of Stevia rebaudiana (WP2-WP4). The development of an integrated weed control system adapted to the environmental conditions of the SME Associations for Stevia crop final implementation in the EU (WP5).Dissemination activities are directed to European Food Industry and towards the SME beneficiaries by IPR protection and the preparation of the novel food application (WP6). Training (WP7) shall ensure that the SME beneficiaries will absorb all developed foreground IPR.

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