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Links to other Horizon 2020 projects on crop diversification

Several Horizon 2020 projects, addressing challenges related to crop diversification, were launched in 2017. DiverIMPACTS has been liaising with them in order to share results, develop common approaches (e.g., multi-criteria assessment of sustainability), align protocols, and organise joint workshops and conferences.

The temporal and spatial diversification of crops, through rotation, multiple cropping and/or associations, enables low-input agronomic practices and is a driver for resource-efficient farming systems. Diversification can fulfil the need to simultaneously produce food, feed and industrial products, and can deliver other ecosystem services and public goods. However, these diversified and low-input farming systems will only emerge if clear benefits to farmers and society are demonstrated and if the upstream and downstream value-chains are fully engaged.

Several H2020 projects launched in 2017, including DiverIMPACTS, address crop diversification (for more information see related projects):

  • Diverfarming, “Crop diversification and low-input farming across Europe: from practitioners engagement and ecosystems services to increased revenues and chain organization”
  • DIVERSify, “Designing InnoVative plant teams for Ecosystem Resilience and agricultural Sustainability”
  • ReMIX, “Redesigning European cropping systems based on species MIXtures”
  • TRUE, “TRansition paths to sUstainable legume based systems in Europe”
  • LegValue, “Fostering sustainable legume-based farming systems and agri-feed and food chains in the EU”,
  • IWMPRAISE, “Integrated Weed Management: PRActical Implementation and Solutions for Europe”.

Special attention is paid to bottom-up innovation and tacit knowledge, resulting in co-production and development of technical, organisational and institutional innovations that can contribute to a long-lasting implementation of diversified cropping systems and their products.

The abovementioned projects have agreed to work together and set up a dissemination cluster that will contribute to the following outputs:

  • Innovative crop diversification solutions, including new varieties and breeding strategies, species mixtures/crop associations, novel crop production and protection solutions as well as machinery;
  • A network of field experiments across biogeographical regions and pedo-climatic conditions, that demonstrate benefits of crop diversification in terms of productivity, ecosystem services and market opportunities;
  • Economic and organisational approaches and incentives to promote new business models along value-chains;
  • Development of new products or products with enhanced value for the food/feed or industrial sectors;
  • New knowledge-intensive services for farmers and agronomists (advice, decision support, precision agriculture) to help them manage and monitor their transition towards more diversified cropping systems;
  • Multi-criteria assessment tools to evaluate the performances of diversified cropping systems at the rotation, farm, value-chain, and landscape levels;
  • New actor-oriented approaches through a learning-for-innovation platform, networking case studies and crop diversification experiences across Europe;
  • Policy recommendations to make the sociotechnical systems more disposed to crop diversification.