Cultivation above the ground: Leek

The leek sector has to cope with overproduction and low prices in normal production years. The cultivation isn’t very profitable in those years. In addition, the industry realises that the cultivation can be restricted in time because they do not meet the directives of the (European legislation regarding the emission of nutrients and pesticides and residues.


The goal of this project is to have at least one operationally sustainable cultivation system for leeks ‘above the ground’ by the end of 2013. The fallowing preconditions are leading:

  • Cultivation: a water balance in which discharging isn’t an option, nutrient management with a 95% lower emission in comparison to the field, a system that makes sure the leek is straight with sufficient white and the right thickness, improved labour productivity and working conditions compared to the field, failure risk as low as possible.
  • Suppliers: breed selection, adapted cultivation system/logistics, technology development in particular to increase labour productivity.
  • Sales: acceptance and achievement of added value for leeks above the ground.
  • Growers: acceptance and training to provide growers with the necessary knowledge.
  • Sustainability: cultivation system must be 95% recyclable , reduced use of pesticides, reduction of nutrient, energy and water deployment, economically viable
  • Environment: acceptance and technical authorisation.