23 full partners representing 11 different countries:
Austria (ZSI - Center for social innovation), Belgium (Apeo - Agronomical plant extracts and essential oils, CRA-W - Walloon agricultural research center, Uliège - university of Liège), Cyprus (I-Dante Ltd, Stratagem energy Ltd), Finland (university of Helsinki), France (Actia - the French network for food technology Institutes [CTCPA], CNA - Agroecology national center, Easy Global Market, Neayi), Germany (Escarda technologies, Ugoe - university of Göttingen), Greece (university of Thessaloniki), Hungary (AgroLynx, Campden BRI), Italy (Technoalimenti, Unibo - university of Bologna), Portugal (Agroforestry company of Vale da Asseiceira), Spain (Biome makers, CNTA - National center for technology and food safety, Unio - Farmers and breeders union of the country of Valencia)
There is an urgent need to move towards sustainable weed management strategies. Agroecology offers a unique approach & seeks to transform food & agriculture systems, providing long-term solutions.
Challenge n° 1: agroecological practices are already applied to different degrees. However, wide adoption of agroecological weed management has lagged behind our understanding of its benefits and way to optimally apply it in different cases.
Challenge n° 2: even with simple agroecological practices, uptake by farmers has been limited. Impediments to employing such practices include inadequate policy instruments, a lack of market mechanisms, and a paucity of social infrastructure with which to influence learning & decision-making by farmers.
Challenge n° 3: weeds are expected to become more difficult to reliably control with herbicides under increasing CO2 and climate change (CC). Nevertheless, practical implications of climate change for the many non-chemical tactics integral to agroecological weeding have not been thoroughly addressed yet.
Conserwa will address the aforementioned challenges by:
- compiling a portfolio of agroecological farming practices, studying their optimal combinations & transferability, including suitability under CC scenarios,
- supporting the implementation of these combinations and the measurement of their performance & impacts using novel tools,
- supporting knowledge management & communication between stakeholders with the ultimate goal of practical decision-making and impact assessment through an open DSS,
- studying factors influencing farmers’ decision-making in applying agroecological farming, working together with the value chain, such as the food processors & consultancy services. The study will be facilitated by case studies covering all European biogeographical/pedo-climatic regions and involving a wide range of crops & farming systems.
Consewa focuses also on training of farmers, as well as on policy making (through policy recommendations).