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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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ReMIX H2020 - Intercrops

The EU Green Deal: what opportunities does it bring for crop diversification?

GREEN DEAL NEWSLETTER 3
Diversified systems can help meet the needs of end users for food, feed and industrial products and simultaneously deliver other ecosystem services and public goods.

By Pierre Rochepeau

The EU Green Deal is the new growth strategy for Europe. It aims at making the EU’s economy more sustainable while reaching climate neutrality by 2050. Its ambition is therefore to overhaul Europe’s economic sectors, in particular energy, transport, infrastructures, goods production & consumption and of course agriculture. Biodiversity protection and nature conservation are also central to the European economic transition, which must be just and inclusive for all European citizens.

 

In order to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050, the European Commission has published a dedicated roadmap based on many key EU legislations and policies, such as a European Climate Law, a circular economy action plan, a sustainable European Investment Plan etc.

On May, 20th, two specific strategies have been presented by the European Commission:

-        Farm to Fork strategy

-        EU Biodiversity strategy for 2030

 

The Farm to Fork strategy is indeed at the heart of the European Green Deal aiming to make EU food system a standard in term of sustainability. Food systems cannot be resilient to crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic if they are not fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. In particular, the use of pesticide and nutrient losses must be reduced by 50% within 2030. Organic production will have to reach 25% of the utilised agricultural land of the Community by 2030.

 

Crop diversification practices are a very powerful lever to achieve these objectives. Indeed, the diversification of crops through rotation, multiple cropping and species mixtures for example, as studied within ReMIX project, can allow farming systems to become more resource-efficient with fewer agronomic inputs. Diversified systems can help meet the needs of end users for food, feed and industrial products and simultaneously deliver other ecosystem services and public goods.

 

To date, there are 6 projects, amongst them ReMIX, already collaborating within a dedicated cluster in order to increase the impact of crop diversification research and encourage sustained uptake of diversification measures by farmers in Europe through innovations across the agri-value chain, as intended by the EU Green Deal.

 

As all of these projects will end in 2021 and 2022, there is a strong opportunity to meet the Green Deal expectations by building on the already existing results and pursue the research efforts through the European funding programs.

 

In terms of figures, a total of €1,000 billion will be invested to implement the Green Deal during the next 10 years, 25% of which will be for climate and environmental purposes.

 

As part of Horizon 2020, €1 billion budget is planned to fund single-stage projects that will start no later than autumn 2021. The European Green Deal strategy will also be supported through other European funding programs such as Horizon Europe, Interreg, PRIMA etc.

 

Thus, there should be opportunities to promote locally-adapted crop diversification measures that shall benefit all the value chain-actors through further European programs… Stay tuned!

 

For more information on the H2020 Green Deal calls : https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/strategy/european-green-deal/call_en