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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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ReMIX H2020 - Intercrops

MAPs will develop "decision-tree models" for selected local species mixtures in WP1

By Henrik Hauggaard-Nielsen

All WP1 activities aims at overcoming the implementation gap between research and practice, by increasing awareness and dialogue on sustainable use of species mixtures whilst securing implementation of locally relevant, legitimate and innovative solutions based upon the ReMIX multiactor approach.

11 multiactor platforms (MAPs) situated across Europe are well established and running, even though there is differences in development phases, types of facilitation and institutional settings. The individual ReMIX MAP responsibles are not traditional leaders but rather facilitators with a role to initiate, observe, facilitate, and evaluate activities.

 Based upon involved local MAP actors a number of species mixture cropping advantages are underlined, like: yield stability, weed suppression, improving baking quality/nutritional values, disease and pest suppression, soil improvement, nutrient catchment etc. Nevertheless, some farmers in the MAPs not only face challenges associated with changing their current business, they also face challenges associated with the radical nature of the innovations necessary to realise when increasing species mixture cropping.

 

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October field day at the Danish MAP. © Roskilde University, Agrovi

Innovations can be fast, especially with a high level of familiarity and experience and a low need for new knowledge. Species mixtures cropping is for some farmers characterised by exactly the opposite, a low level of familiarity and experience, and may entail radical logistical, technological and institutional changes. Saying that, barriers can also turn into enabling factors like: market prices; rules and laws; processing facilities (such as mobile sorting machinery); storage facilities and unexpected failures (leading to new insights and solutions). Together with increased emphasis towards scaling-out activities from central demonstration field to satellite farmers, future work on selected MAPs will try to highlight crucial steering factors for change like weight of certain actors, market opportunities, ecological conditions and potential additional external actors and institutions to make species cropping strategies viable.

 

intercropping wp1 2

Catch crop mixtures at the Danish MAP looking at earthworm responses © Roskilde University; Agrovi

The WP1 ambition is by principle to conduct demand-driven research tailored to local conditions by co-designing species mixture cropping strategies with the farmers at field and farm scales. As expected, MAP actors (e.g. farmers) access to e.g. land, mechanization, and knowledge varies greatly. Not necessarily only between MAPs (countries), but also between regions and even between different types of farms in the same rural community. In order to chart differences comparing MAPs and use this variability as strength for knowledge sharing across Europe, all MAPs will develop "decision-tree models" for selected local species mixtures during autumn 2019 emphasizing main objectives pursued.

intercropping wp1 3

Open dialogue on pros and cons when undersowing catch crops (relay intercropping) in the Danish MAP © Roskilde University; Agrovi