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Developing the value chain of underutilized cereals and legumes - DIVINFOOD

Funding: Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, European Union

Coordinator: INRAE – French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (France)

Consortium partners: In the DIVINFOOD project 26 partners from 7 countries work together in close cooperation.

Duration: March 2022 – February 2027

Development of the short value chains of healthy plant based foods through the utilization of agrobiodiversity

The diversity of our cultivated plants, the variety of foods we consume and the importance of local products have been decreased as a result of the intensification of agriculture. However, among our forgotten and underutilized cultivated plants – which are grown only in a smaller area – we can find several species and varieties that have a regional importance and a unique value, but are withdrawn from large-scale production to some reason. These cultivated plants often have special characteristics from the point of production or consumption, and also can be successfully produced even under changing and more extreme weather conditions. In addition, their production also supports the wider spread of agroecological – that is sustainable – practices.

The impact of agrobiodiversity, ecosystem services and agroecological practices on yield security is unknown for the consumers and often also for the producers. In addition, foods and raw materials originating from sustainable farming or small-scale production reach only a small group of the consumers at the moment, and selling the products is often difficult also for the committed producers.

Based on the work of 9 living labs from 7 countries DIVINFOOD aims at eliminating the obstacles hindering the wider production and consumption of underutilized cultivated plants.

From the 9 living labs of the project two are located in Hungary. The living lab called “Cer-Hung” – coordinated by the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) – focuses on einkorn and emmer, while the one called “Bean-Hung” – lead by AgriKulti – deals with beans. The Hungarian members of the international consortium also include the Association of Conscious Consumers and Budapest (the capital of Hungary).

Aims of the DIVINFOOD project

  • supporting the production of underutilized cereals (e.g. einkorn and emmer) and legumes (beans, lentils, peas, grass pea, chickpea) at the regional and the European level
  • developing new business models
  • surveying consumer habits and encouraging the consumption of underutilized cultivated plants
  • developing new plant based recipes
  • joining the actors of short value chains and sharing knowledge

The major task of ÖMKi experts include the leading of work package 3 (WP3) responsible for the assessment of agroecological practices and the implementation of on-farm experiments and developing the living lab called “Cer-Hung” – focusing on einkorn and emmer – by carrying out on-farm experiments and joining the different actors of the value chain.

This project was funded by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Union within the coordination and support activities under grant agreement No 101000383.


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