CROPDIVA puts underused crops back in the fields

(27-10-2021) Oats, triticale, buckwheat, faba beans, lupins and hulless barley for human consumption: these six underused arable crops will be put back on the field in the Horizon 2020 project CROPDIVA.

Forgotten crops for the future

"All selected crops have a very broad genetic background that can be used to cross in important characteristics relating to factors such as resilience to stress and an improved nutritional value", says project coordinator Geert Haesaert.

"Moreover, these crops have major ecological benefits. Many of them produce nectar-rich flowers or fix air nitrogen, for example. This will lead to highly resilient agroecosystems with greater adaptability to climate change, a better use of genetic resources, and greater food diversity."

The project activities will focus on

  1. improving the resilience of cultivation systems,
  2. aligning the economic and social needs of farmers with ecological targets,
  3. marketing of new food/non-food products that meet the needs of consumers.

The project runs until September 2025. The results of CROPDIVA will be used for innovative solutions in the whole chain to facilitate biodiversity management at all levels.

27 partners from 12 countries

At the end of 2020 the European Commission approved the CROPDIVA project as part of the Horizon 2020 Programme. The project was realized through a collaboration of experts from 12 countries, 27 different universities, companies and organizations. Ghent University is the coordinator of this ambitious project, which officially started on September 1st, 2021. 

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