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Paul Mäder
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paul.maeder(at)fibl.org

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Helga Willer
(Dr. rer. nat.)

Departement für Beratung, Bildung und Kommunikation
FiBL
Ackerstrasse 113
CH-5070 Frick

Telefon +41 (0)62 865-7207
Fax +41 (0)62 865-7273
helga.willer(at)fibl.org

Helping European agriculture to tackle water and nutrient limitations: New European project started

An ambitious 5-year project for the future of European agriculture – SolACE – was given an exciting start earlier this year. SolACE, which is funded under the European Union’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, will generate solutions that combine novel crop varieties and management innovations to improve water and nutrient use efficiency across Europe. FiBL is one of the project partners.

 

European agriculture is challenged by the need to produce more crops. At the same time, it must deal with the reduced availability of fertilisers, in particular nitrogen and phosphorus, combined with reduced or more variable rainfall, and thus reduced water availability. In this context, the SolACE project will identify and test novel solutions to ensure optimum crop productivity under combined water and nutrient stress.

SolACE will use a wide range of approaches such as on-farm experiments, field trials at experimental stations, and phenotyping platforms throughout the project. The findings of SolACE will be disseminated to a range of stakeholders, including farmers and policymakers. The project will promote the engagement of a broad range of stakeholders through a stakeholder forum and stakeholder events, the first one took place this summer.

The SoLACE project, which will run from May 2017 to April 2022, brings together a consortium of 25 partners from 14 European countries. Partners include farmers and farmers’ organisations, advisory services, cooperatives, logistics providers, scientists, industry professionals, and representatives of civil society and rural areas. SolACE is coordinated by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA).

In the SolACE project, FiBL will test bread wheat genotypes under different fertilization regime and tillage intensities for two years. In addition, FiBL will be responsible to perform various soil and microbial analyses from other partners’ trials. Furthermore, FiBL will test the best innovations within its network of on-farm trials (bread wheat) and evaluate the economic sustainability of all tested innovations, combined with an LCA approach. Finally, FiBL is in charge the website, PR and dissemination tasks.

The project SolACE - "Solutions for improving Agroecosystem and Crop Efficiency for water and nutrient use" is supported by the European Union's HORIZON 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement no 727247 and by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract number 17.00094.

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