Promoting crop diversification in European agricultureCategory: Press Releases
16 August 2017
A major 5-year European project ˗ DiverIMPACTS ˗ was recently launched. The project will explore the full potential of diversifying arable cropping systems with the aim to provide improved agricultural productivity, resource efficiency and sustainable value chains.
DiverIMPACTS ˗ Diversification through Rotation, Intercropping, Multiple Cropping, Promoted with Actors and value-Chains towards Sustainability ˗ is funded under the European Unionīs research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 and will demonstrate the benefits of crop diversification*. The project strives to support the removal of barriers to crop diversification, and it will help to promote the uptake of crop diversification at farm, supply chain and territory levels. Recommendations for policy makers will be developed in order to facilitate the coordination of all relevant actors within the value chain.
The project builds on the experience of 10 existing field experiments, which will be used to quantify the impacts of crop diversification. DiverIMPACTS will also work with and support 25 innovation groups in their dynamic processes to develop sustainable value chains characterized by a high level of crop diversification and new market products. The innovation groups include a wide range of actors such as farmers, advisors, processors and scientists.
The Organic Research Centre (ORC) is a partner in the project and will carry out three case studies with UK businesses/farms and their value chains who have successfully adopted crop diversification. In each system a large variety of indicators will be monitored over 3-4 years (including water use, soil health, species diversity, material and energy use, stability of production and market, value creation and benefits for local communities, quality of life and public health). ORC will also work with an external expert group from relevant sectors (farming, processing, regional and EU policy makers, education and supporting industries) to develop strategies and recommendations for the various actors along the value chains.
The project, which runs from 2017 to 2022, is coordinated by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and brings together a broad consortium of 34 partners from 11 European countries. The partnership is comprised of farmers and farmer organisations, advisory services, cooperatives, logistics providers, scientists, industry professionals, and representatives of civil society and rural areas.
*Crop diversification can be achieved by a variety of techniques such as a) growing different crop species on the same land in successive growing seasons (i.e. rotation), b) growing different crop species on the same land within a growing season (i.e. multiple cropping), and c)growing different species in proximity in the same field, (i.e. mixed, row and strip intercropping).
For more information
ORC contact: Anja Vieweger
Project website and Twitter accountclick here.
Keywords: diversification rotations intercropping