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.
Diversification through Rotation, Intercropping, Multiple Cropping, Promoted with Actors and value-Chains towards Sustainability is funded under the European Union´s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 and will demonstrate the benefits of crop diversification. 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).
ÖMKi’s task is to collect and analyze the latest European experiences and practices in relation to crop diversification and also, in cooperation with the farmers, new diversification techniques will be tested in a practice-oriented manner.
Furthermore, 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 elaborated 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 project, which is running 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.