Connecting sustainable agroecosystems andfarming with circular bioeconomy and new technologies
The ConnectFarms project will develop approaches to increase in a sustainable way integrated crop-livestockproduction while benefiting soil resilience to stress and climate change. This will include an extensive toolbox forfarmers and stakeholders addressing crop-livestock integration, precise farming, organic amendments, reuse ofresidues in circular economy and sustainability improvements of farming practices. A set of recommendations forsustainable strategies leading to environmentally sound production in compliance with the Farm to Fork strategywill be given. Emphasis will be given to new approaches based on science and nature-based solutions to manipulatecrops, livestock, soil and plant microbial communities to maximize positive ecological interactions and enhance ecosystem services.
The ConnectFarms concept is highly interdisciplinary and joins together expertise from many research fields, toachieve an integration of crop, livestock and ICT to obtain ecosystem services in agreement with the needs ofsustainable agriculture. Partners will work in experimental sites in all partner countries – Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy,Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Turkey. Focused aspects of the project will concern agriculture and soil fertility – cropand livestock – amendments and biochar for soil health – welfare and sustainability for animals – precision farming –life cycle and ecosystem services assessment - stakeholder involvement. The ambition of the project is to contribute to innovative strategic food systems by targeting enhanced agriculturaltechnology, food processing and preservation innovation, environmental issues, and ultimately human health.ConnectFarms explores the interaction between arable crops, e.g. barley and pulses with farm animals of highrelevance, sheep and chicken. The connection is maintained through triangulation - crop becomes feed for animals,residues become amendments, amendments feed and boost crops and animals. The sustainable use of biochar isour keystone to improve both plant and animal farming in a circular economy approach.
The project is highly interdisciplinary as it includes:
- Ecological and agronomic studies
- Soil and crop management to improve diversity and functionality
- Studies of ecosystem services such as C sequestration, nutrient cycling, and pest control.
Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per le Scienze Ambientali, Italy
Prof Nelson Marmoroli
Agricultural University, Bulgaria
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Lithuania
University of Tartu, Estonia
Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland
Niğde Ömer Halisdemir University, Turkey
University of Milano - Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura el'Analisi dell'Economia Agraria, Italy
1 December 2021 - 30 November 2024