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2024. April 29. News

Organic Yields UP project launch – improving yields in organic cropping systems in Europe

The Organic Yields UP EU-funded project (2024-2028) officially began on 1 February and had its kick-off meeting from the 27th to the 28th of February 2024 hosted by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in Frick, Switzerland. The meeting gathered 17 project partners from 13 European countries, initiating collaborative efforts to enhance yields in organic cropping systems across Europe. 

Recognising the consistent yield difference between organic and conventional farming, the project emphasises the importance of gathering and assessing existing knowledge, fostering stakeholder collaboration, and establishing a European-wide testing network for the improvement of organic yields. The aim is to increase yields in organic farming across diverse conditions and crops, in alignment with EU sustainability goals, therefore positioning organic farming as a pivotal sector of European agriculture for a sustainable and resilient future. Organic Yields UP is also dedicated to promoting knowledge sharing, devising targeted strategies to boost yields across Europe, and driving innovation to contribute to the Farm to Fork target of achieving 25% share of the EU's agricultural land under organic farming by 2030.  

The two-day kick-off meeting at FiBL Switzerland's headquarters began with introductions to the project's various Work Packages. This was followed by co-design workshop sessions, primarily centred on essential tasks of mapping crop-specific yield challenges and strategies. This included classifying crops by yield gap and compiling related challenges and strategies. The second day continued with a similar focus, emphasising further discussions and strategies for obtaining this information within the partner institutes. Following the co-design sessions, participants enjoyed a guided tour of FiBL Switzerland's experimentation grounds. Here, partners had the opportunity to observe and learn about the ongoing field experiments at FiBL, exploring various strategies, challenges, and opportunities to improve yields. The kick-off meeting concluded with a plenary session on project coordination and management, wrapping up with the addressing of urgent issues and next steps. 

ÖMKi leads the development of the sustainability concept and action plan of the "European Network of Living Labs for Increasing Yields in Organic Farming" in collaboration with all network partners which aims to ensure the continuity and added value of the network beyond the project's lifetime. Additionally, ÖMKi is tasked with creating training materials, conducting workshops to establish the network, promoting open science practices, assisting in stakeholder recruitment, and evaluating on-site networks for Living Lab compliance.


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