Additionals Newsflash March 2013 - LEI involves in European projects

Protein crops and the new Common Agricultural Policy

Growing protein crops (pulses and other legumes) can bring large environmental benefits; these plants have the capacity to utilize atmospheric nitrogen, thus resulting in savings in chemical fertilizer. They also lead to lower nitrate losses and other positive effects on soils. Besides these reasons, policy-makers are also promoting the cultivation of these crops because the production in Europe is declining, whereas our consumption of pulses is increasing. The Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament has therefore commissioned a study on how to encourage European farmers to grow more protein crops. LEI is involved in the economic aspect of these studies, in particular in the formulation of policy recommendations and in assessing their likely impact. More information

Climate adaptation of European farmers and global food security

A knowledge hub of 73 partners from 17 countries all over Europe and Israel has started. This group of researchers will assess how climate variability and change will affect regional farming systems and food production in Europe in the near and the far future. And the associated risks and opportunities for European food security. Focus is on the integration of models and their applicability in regional case studies that reflect the European diversity in soil, climate, socio-economy and agricultural systems. Together with the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), LEI is leading the theme on economic and trade modelling. A workshop was recently held in Haifa University (Israel) to explore new ideas for trade and agriculture model integration for assessing the impacts of climate change on food security. See also the MACSUR website.

Shaping integrated pest management (IPM) with NGO’s and retailers – an abstract

In many European countries the general public fears the risks of pesticides, especially on fruit and vegetables. Members of national Parliaments and NGOs urge governments, primary producers and food chain partners to reduce the risks of pesticides. Long-lasting and fierce public debates have resulted in retailers imposing ambitious residue restrictions on their suppliers. Read the abstract

How are innovations in the agrofood sector going to scale?

Innovation is crucial in societal change processes, such as increasing food security and making food production more sustainable. Technological innovations are often emphasized, for example integrated pest management or improved logistics in the value chain. The project is working towards providing a tested typology of the scalability of innovations on the basis of case study research and reflective action monitoring. This involves stakeholders in concrete innovation processes in Denmark, Kenya and Benin. From a strategic and managerial perspective, the project aims to develop a framework for policy makers and private business to assess whether and how scaling (up) can be steered. Read the publication