In line with the decreasing surface of arable soils and progressive climate changes, we will develop new options to sustainably increase both yield and quality of food and feed crops and climate change-resilience of agroecosystems in EU. We plan to activate idle and marginal land for food and non-food crops. High amounts of quality biomass can be produced on marginal soils by improving their physico-chemical properties using amendments made from agricultural by-products and biofortification of food/fodder crops (e.g. Se). In addition, silicon fertilization will increase the resistance of crops to biotic/abiotic stresses and plant resilience to climate change. Improving plant water use efficiency, resilience to disease and pests, and biodiversity will reduce agrochemical use in crop production. The project includes the management of agricultural by-products, e.g. by transformation into biogas and energy recovery, and producing organic amendments usable to improve marginal soil properties. This will contribute to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions, promoting lower C footprints.
A toolbox addressing resilient agrosystems allowing sustainable intensification of agriculture under increasing stress of climate change, new pests and disease outbreaks and other environmental pressures and preserving biodiversity and ecosystem services will be the end-product translated to national languages and distributed to farmers and stakeholders.