Pierre Hohmann from FiBL, one of the partners of the project, presented the activities carried out in work package 4 within the last two years. He furthermore led a workshop on the topic of screening, breeding and phenotyping methods for species mixtures.
Juan Manuel Intxaurrandieta, the General Director of INTIA, and Eric Justes Scientific Coordinator of the ReMIX project from the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development CIRAD, welcomed the participants of the meeting. Following the multi-actor approach, the scientific sessions were complemented with practical work carried out in different workshops as well as a field visit to the lentil and chickpea trials with wheat that INTIA is carrying out in Mendigorría (Navarra).
Implementing intercropping is not only a matter of agronomic and technological challenges. Farmers willing to try intercropping face marketing challenges and policy makers do not always know what policies work best to support them. Three actors at the national, regional and local level were invited to discuss with participants what authorities can do to support intercropping. The ReMIX project, funded with 5 million euros by the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme, will overcome these barriers through a four-year collaborative research programme that will produce new scientifically reliable but also socially valuable knowledge for both conventional and ecological farming systems.
The ReMIX consortium comprises public research and higher education organizations as well as private research institutions, advisory services, farmers' cooperatives, agricultural equipment industries and SMEs. The partnership includes 24 partners in 11 EU countries plus Switzerland and China and is coordinated by the French Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) Toulouse and CIRAD. The project started in May 2017 and will end in April 2021.
FiBL is the co-leader of work package 4 on "Screening, breeding and phenotyping methods for species mixtures", and is also involved in work package 1 ("Multi-actor co-design of species mixtures and on-farm testing") and work package 3 ("Analysis of factors and management practices determining efficiency of species mixtures to control insect pests, diseases and weeds").
Pierre Hohmann, FiBL Switzerland