T7 / IRT-7

Farming systems to maintain soil fertility while meeting demand for agricultural products

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Europe
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom



Czech Republic

Hana Urbancova
xyhana.urbancova@cazv.czhttp://eagri.cz/public/web/en/mze/consultancy-research/yespossiblynoNational Agency for Agricultural Research manages R&D for the entire agricultural sector, and invests significant funding into its support and development. Thanks to this funding, the results produced by some Czech research teams rank them among the best in their field both in Europe and worldwide.
yes, possiblyklusacek@geonika.cz
Marie Pacakova
xymarie.pacakova@gacr.czhttps://gacr.cz/en/yespossiblynoGrant Agency of the Czech Republic, a section for support of the research. Open to all fields of science. The Czech Science Foundation (also known as the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, GA CR) was established in 1993 as the main independent public organization with the aim to support basic research in the Czech Republic and promote international collaboration of researchers and research teams on the bilateral and multilateral levels. On the basis of calls for proposals, the Czech Science Foundation provides financial support for experienced as well as young and early-stage researchers. Moreover, it funds bilateral projects together with projects carried out within international research programmes. The subject of a project proposal is determined by the applicant (bottom-up principle). Around 2,500 project proposals are submitted to the GA CR every year, of which more than one-fourth obtain financial support. The GA CR invites proposals in all disciplines of basic research.
Lukas Kacena
xylukas.kacena@tacr.czhttps://www.tacr.cz/index.php/en/yespossiblynoTechnology Agency of the Czech Republic, section for management of research




Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Marion BARDYmarion.bardy@agriculture.gouv.frhttp://www,agriculture.gouv.frunknownyesyesHow to manage the multifunctionality of agricultural soils, also takes into account in the decision making - transverse to several themes. What means of action / levers for actors managing agricultural ecosystems
Soil fertility / Soil quality indicators Innovation in awareness raising and education to soil Show benefits of soil functions for farmers / for the whole societyyes, possiblymc.dictor@brgm.fr


European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development (EIARD)
Dr. Jürgen Anthoferjuergen.anthofer@giz.dewww.giz.deyesyespossibly
The European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development (EIARD) is a permanent informal European donor coordination platform on policies and investments regarding agricultural research for development (ARD) between the European Commission, Member States of the European Union, Switzerland and Norway. EIARD's goal is to reduce poverty, to promote economic growth, food and nutrition security, sustainable management of natural resources in Africa, Latin America and Asia … through effective and harmonized European investments and policies in ARD, promotion of partnerships and support to capacity development (EIARD Strategy) Eligible members of EIARD are the European Commission, EU member states and Norway and Switzerland. Each member state has a national contact point with potentially other national representatives who all come from national ministries or delegated line agencies. EIARD is interested in additional contacts and joint initiative to funding institutions in Europe. possibly, currently fundinguwe.ferber@stadtland.eu
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Stützelstuetzel@gem.uni-hannover.deww.dfg.deyes - self sustaining reseach funding by network partnerspossiblyno
ECOFE – A research network to meet the needs for 21st century crop science Providing the knowledge for producing sufficient high-quality food for a growing world population with a minimum of environmental impact is one of greatest scientific challenges worldwide. Long-term trends like climate change or the need for sustainable production of raw materials for industry from plants together with biological limitations to crop productivity increase this challenge even further. Fundamental for improving the scientific understanding of crops and cropping systems is an appropriate coordination of research facilities that allows systematic investigations of the interactions between plant genotype, environment and agricultural management, i.e., studies of plant varieties across a range of farming practices and locations under highly standardized conditions. In contrast, the present organization of agricultural research institutions basically follows the rationale of the 19th century, when each institution had an experimental farm that was typical for the regional conditions, but did not allow for an appropriate and accurate study of location effects. With ECOFE, we propose to adopt an interdisciplinary approach better suited to 21st century crop science by networking existing field stations across Europe and to develop them further in a coordinated and highly standardized way. This will allow not only the choice of the most suitable locations for individual experiments, but also provide European scientists with the worldwide unique opportunity to systematically tackle fundamental problems like the mitigation of climate change effects and the biological limits to crop productivity across a wide range of environments. This European Consortium for Open Field Experimentation (ECOFE), stretching from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, and from Ireland to the eastern border of the EU, will allow European scientists to access an excellent platform for collaboration while providing them a competitive advantage. A more detailed outline of the ECOFE concept can be found in the attached journal article. Renowned research institutions from Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have formed a founding initiative for ECOFE. Support is sought for development and implementation of harmonized and standardized methodologies and to expand the infrastructure network in order to enhance the effectiveness and competitiveness of European crop science. Further funding intitaitves on crop science possiblyuwe.ferber@stadtland.eu
Federal Ministry of Education and Resarch
Dr. Kristina Grossk.gross@fz-juelich.dewww.ptj.deyeayesyes
Urban and rural areas are closely interrelated and depending heavily on to each other. Urbanization and digitization - these and other trends urgently need to redefine functional urban areas and the urban-rural relationships. Coping with conflicts and initiating sustainable land use is of central importance. As part of the initiative “Future Cities” urban-rural relationships are part of intensive research activities in Germany. The BMBF is therefore interested to exchange in an international dialogue.possiblyuwe.ferber@stadtland.eu


Regione Emilia Romagna
Nicola Dall'Olionicola.dallolio@regione.emilia-romagna.itwww.regione.emilia-romagna.ityespossiblyyesRegione Emilia Romagna is interested in co-funding and being a partner of H2020 projects and other UE funding programme
Promote precision farming, organic farming, and conservation agriculture to increase organic matter and enhance fertility and biodiversity of soils. Currently funded by RDP 2014-2020currently fundingmatteo.tabasso@siti.polito.it


implementation programme soil and subsurface
Leo Hamerlinck (via Linda Maring)linda.maring@deltares.nlhttps://www.bodemplus.nl/onderwerpen/bodem-ondergrond/bodemconvenant/thema/kennis/uitvragen/uitvraag-2017/aanbestedingsvormen/xxxpossiblypossiblyThis programme has budget untill (10 mln between 2017-2020) for soil and subsurface. They use the Dutch knowledge agenda soil and subsurface (which is the same as the dutch contribution to the INSPIRATION agenda) as leading research questions. They set out different calls (next call is on climate / rural area, nature / infrastructure or energy, max 150 KEUR, 50% cofininancing needed, deadline Nov 29 2017 ) They are open for collaboration in europe. how and on which topics is not specified yest. Probably theyw ant to arrange this via the Knowledge and Innovation Program Soil and Subsurface (also entered in this database)



Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Maria MaiaMaria.Maia@fct.ptwww.fct.ptPermission for what?yesyes
possibly, already funded, currently fundingtpanago@ualg.pt
Center on Spatial and Organizational Dynamics
Thomas Panagopoulostpanago@ualg.pthttp://cieo.pt/mission.phpyespossiblyyes
already fundedtpanago@ualg.pt
António José Conde Buzio Sampaio Ramos
outside our remittpanago@ualg.pt


Ministry of Research and Innovation
Mrs. Simona Malureanu, General Directorsimona.malureanu@research.gov.rowww.research.gov.royesyespossiblyIn the preparative stage Dr. Viorel Vulturescu, Director of the Directorate International and European Intercommunications in the Ministry of Research and Innovation and member of the Societal Challenge 5 (SC5) Programme Committee (including ERA-NET networks), was informed (Official request, plus SRA Green Paper and Executive Summary attached) by e-mail in August 18th 2017 as well as similar documents submitted in hard to the Ministry of Research and Innovation (registered) on August 23rd 2017. Also, Dr. Constantin Ranea, General Director of the General Directorate for Transfer and Infrastructure R&D&I in the Ministry of Research and Innovation was informed by the NFP (Official request, plus SRA Green Paper and Executive Summary handed over in hard directly by the NFP) by August 29th 2017. Later on, during the meetings held at the quarters of the Ministry of Research and Innovation in November 1st 2017 with Dr. Constantin Ranea, General Director of the General Directorate for Transfer and Infrastructure R&D&I and Mrs. Simona Malureanu, General Director of the General Directorate for Policies and R&D&I Programmes, the NFP has recorded a certain interest of the Ministry of Research and Innovation to join the Strategic Research Agenda. The Ministry will look further to find and develop proper solutions for Soil-Sediment-Water research co-funding. Late 2017, acknowledging the importance of the SRA, the NFP decided to improve and update its Research&Development&Innovation Strategy for the period 2018-2020 with the entire SRA content (https://www.icpa.ro/documente/Strategie%20CDI%202018-2020.pdf). As an entity coordinated by the Ministry of Research and Innovation, in December 2017, the NFP submitted to the National Research Program “Core”, 6 national proposals connected with the SRA.
The NFP has raised to the Ministry of Research and Innovation two proposals regarding: (i) soil organic matter conservation under different land management practices within the frame of global climate changes and (ii) soil parameters sensitivity analyse with regard to High Natural Value area.possiblymihail.dumitru@icpa.ro





The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agrucultural Sciences and Spatial Planning
Elisabet Goranssonelisabet.goransson@formas.sewww.formas.seyespossiblypossiblyMay be a change of Contact person


Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF
c/o Marco Pützmarco.puetz@wsl.chwww.snf.chnonono
Swiss Federal Office for the Environment FOEN
c/o Marco Pützmarco.puetz@wsl.chwww.bafu.admin.chnonono

United Kingdom

Understanding the potential of different agricultural food production systems while mainaining soil fertility and reducing negative environmental impacts associated with intensive conventional farming. Increased knowledge about economic and technical aspects of organic food porduciton systems will improve their competitiveness and help mainstream sustainable agricultural practices.

  • For founders
  • For endusers
  • For researchers
  • For citizens
The business case for agricultural production alternatives to conventional farming systems needs to be made in order to contribute to food security while protecting soil fertility, reducing negative environmental impacts and decreasing externalities to other societal demands such as biodiversity conservation or drinking water supply.
Agri-industry will benefit in the long term by ways of contributing to food security while protecting soil fertility and avoiding environmental externalities of intensive agriculture. This will improve its environmental performance, profitability and the extent of its social license to operate.
Large scale, long term studies coupled with real time technology driven data collection and agricultural interventions will allow new insights into the way to produce food and non-food products without harming soil fertility or the broader environment.
Citizens will have a secure food supply confident that this is not at the expense of long term soil fertility or damage to the environment or subsidies from other parts of the economy.

Increasing demand for agricultural products drives intensificatio of food and non food production. Intensive conventional farming may have severe negative environmental consequences (loss of fertile soils by erosion, nutrient loss and soil compaction; reduced biodiversity; nutrient leaching to groundwater and rivers; eutrophication of lakes and the sea). Agricultural production techniques are being developed that maintain soil fertility and reduce negative environmental impacts of conventional farming in rural peri-urban and urban contexts. It is still unclear if these techniques could be scaled up to attain food security and meet demand for non-food products. The role of technology (e.g. precision farming) in reducing environmental externalities of intensive farming and encouraging a return to soil-friendly agricultural practices needs to be demonstrated. Incentives are needed along side knowledge transfer and reformed policies and regulations to encourage sustainable soil management practices at the farm level.

Background: A growing world population and increasing demand for food and non-food agricultural products puts high pressure on farming systems to intensify production. At the same time, it becomes more and more obvious, that intensifying conventional farming may be accompanied by severe negative environmental consequences, such as reduced bio- and agrobiodiversity, nutrient leaching to groundwater and rivers, eutrophication of lakes and the sea, and in particular loss of fertile soils due to erosion, nutrient loss and soil compaction. There are now several agricultural production techniques being developed that may allow for better maintenance of soil fertility and reducing negative environmental impacts of conventional farming in rural as well as urban and peri-urban contexts. However, it is yet unclear, if these farming techniques could be scaled up to attain the goal of food security and the demand for non-food products. Moreover, it needs to be better understood what role technology development e.g. precision farming might play in reducing environmental externalities of conventional farming systems and increasing return of soil-friendly agricultural practices. Finally, it needs to be revealed what would be necessary in terms of knowledge transfer and reforms of policies and regulations to set incentives for adopting sustainable soil management practices at farm level.
Goal: Understanding how sustainable soil management by appropriate agricultural production systems can contribute to sustainable food security, if and how these solutions can be scaled up and widely implemented on farm level.
Rationale from the themes: Demand: Sustainable handling and management of natural resources is indispensable for meet the increasing demand of a growing and affluent population for agricultural products while coping with other societal challenges such as climate change and a shrinking availability of arable soils due to urban development and afforestation. A rising demand challenges production systems to improve overall production that has to be supported by resource and energy efficient agricultural production systems. Land use, however, cannot be only considered under a productivity vision but sustainable handling and management is necessary to safeguard the environment and to protect productive soils in the long run.
Natural Capital: A well equilibrated balance between demand and supply for the multiple ecosystem goods and services produced by agriculture is essential for a sustainable development. For agriculture not only soil quantity but also soil quality is a crucial factor. A fertile unspoiled soil provides important structures (e.g. habitat for organisms) and functions (e.g. ability to catalyse biogeochemical cycles). A healthy soil with an adequate plant and tree cover is also an important stability factor with regard to erosion, landslides and avalanches. Intensification of conventional farming systems is reducing bio- and agrobiodiversity and thereby the ability to provide also other ecosystem services than just provisioning services. As soils and other environmental factors (e.g. climate, hydrology, topography) are locally highly different,
Land Management: An important role of land management is to balance the demand for and supply of resources and natural capital in rural areas. Land management includes on the hand the institutional capacity of local, regional and national governments to identify and protect vulnerable areas and to ensure long-term productive potential of agricultural land. It is key in this regard to match locally highly diverse soils and ecosystems with appropriate agricultural production systems. On the other hand, land management is also concerned with the availability of knowledge and new technologies at farm level to reduce negative environmental effects of highly productive agricultural systems as well as the incentives for farmers set by policy frameworks at EU and national levels to adopt new technology or adapted production techniques.
Net Impact: There is a call to improve the knowledge about socio-economic and environmental benefits and costs resulting from different land management strategies in particular to meet the societal goals of food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, health as well as economic development and livability of rural areas. There is a need to better understand the impact of (agricultural) land use intensity and land use changes on ecosystem provision and (changes in) organic carbon, soil fertility, soil erosion or water quality; all necessary to safeguard long-term provision of agricultural products. There is also a need to raise social awareness on the pro and cons of dietary patterns as well as different agricultural production systems to stimulate market demand for more sustainably produced food and non-food products. Finally, it is necessary to understand what impact policies and regulations have on decisions taken at farm level to support decision-makers in land management and policy at different governmental levels.
So what? Understanding the potential of different agricultural production systems to achieve the goal of food security while sustain soil fertility and reduce negative environmental impacts coming along with intensification of conventional farming would clarify the role of these different techniques to. This is fundamental to increase knowledge about economic and technical aspects of organic farming, their advantages and disadvantages. It will provide knowledge to improve competitiveness and sustainability and will be useful for farmers and decision-makers in order to mainstream sustainable agricultural practices.
Links to other fields: There are linkages to other potential research topics, such as how to reconcile conflicts between different societal goals (e.g. food security, climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, reduced nutrient loads to waterbodies, etc.) or how to spatially optimize (local/regional) land uses (i.e. understanding local soil capacities / thresholds in terms of land use intensity and adapting land use accordingly).

Activities: knowledge transfer, knowledge creation, demonstration, training and education, networking

Goals: No poverty, Zero hunger, Clean water & sanitation, Decent work and economic growth, Industry innovation and infrastructure, Sustainable cities and communities, Responsible consumption, Climate action, Life on land, Peace and justive

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