Putting six underused arable crops back in the fields: oats, hull-less barley for human consumption, triticale, buckwheat, faba beans and lupins. That is the goal of the Horizon 2020 project CROPDIVA. Twenty seven European partners are joining forces to enhance agrobiodiversity in Europe. They will achieve this by focusing on crop diversity and creating local value chains.
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Horizon 2020: 27 partners from 12 countries
At the end of 2020 the European Commission approved the CROPDIVA project as part of the Horizon 2020 Programme. The project was realized through a collaboration of experts from 12 countries, 27 different universities, companies and organizations.
Ghent University is the coordinator of this ambitious project, which officially started on September 1st, 2021.
The project activities will focus on (1) improving the resilience of cultivation systems, (2) aligning the economic and social needs of farmers with ecological targets, and (3) marketing of new food/non-food products that meet the needs of consumers.
All selected crops have a broad genetic background that can be used to cross in important characteristics relating to factors such as resilience to stress and an improved nutritional value. Moreover, these crops have major ecological benefits. Many of them produce nectar-rich flowers or fix air nitrogen, for example. This will lead to highly resilient agroecosystems with greater adaptability to climate change, a better use of genetic resources, and greater food diversity.
Biodiversity management at all levels
The results of CROPDIVA will not end up in a dusty pile of paperwork. They will be used for innovative solutions in order to facilitate biodiversity management at all levels.
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