The EU CropBooster-P project involves drawing up a route map towards future-proofing our agricultural crops. The CSA project amounting to almost €3 million was financed by the EU Horizon 2020 programme and started on 1 November 2018, running for three years.
Wageningen University & Research coordinates the project and it is being carried out by a consortium of 18 partners and associates, in collaboration with interest groups from the scientific field, the industrial field, from consumers, NGOs and policy-makers.
Future crops must have far higher yields, with optimal use of water and minerals. It is imperative that crops have a nutritional value and quality that is as high as possible. After all, they are going to have to enable the doubling of the global food production that will soon be required to feed 10 billion people and relieve effects of climate change. To ensure that there is enough food in 2050, the agricultural production must rise steeply. A yield increase of 70 to 100% is needed. At the same time, the climate change will force us to switch from fossil fuels to biobased fuels, which requires another 30% increase in agricultural production.
Objectives and desired results
CropBooster-P is aimed at paving the way for long-term research.
The project is intended to result in a route map charting, assessing and prioritising the technologies and methods for crop improvement (both on land and in water), while focusing on improving crops´ nutritional value and yield while safeguarding the environment. Existing and new approaches and technologies must be assessed so as to optimise future research and innovation aimed at crop improvement.
The result must ensure that the actors involved are brought together in order to match future research programmes to the values, needs and expectations of society.
Broad public support throughout Europe is needed for the successful development and introduction of the improved crops. Therefore, CropBooster-P will involve the public in drawing up the route map from day 1. A large number of workshops will be organised in which the challenges agriculture is currently faced with will be discussed together with consumers, industry and farmers. Together, the parties will formulate solutions so that future generations may also have enough high-quality food. At the end of the CropBooster-P project a route map will have been developed that has society's support. The European Committee can then use this route map to have the necessary research carried out with a view to securing our future food supply.