Legumes in biodiversity-based farming systems in Mediterranean basin

Acronym: LEGU-MED

Competition title: : PRIMA Call 2919., Prima Section 2 – Multi Topic 2019; Thematic area: Farming Systems; Topic 2.2.2 RIA Use and Management of Biodiversity as a Major Level of Sustainability in Farming Systems

Funding: PRIMA program

AFZ role: partner

Total value: 1244000.00 EUR

Funded amount: 1244000.00 EUR

Contract No: 19111-2

Start date: 2020/11/01

End date: 2023/10/31

Abstract

The main objective of this project is to put forward an international and well-integrated plan to valorise the legume agrobiodiversity of Mediterranean in biodiversity-based farming systems and consequently enhance agro-ecosystem functions and services in the Mediterranean basin. The proposal will use lentils and chickpeas as models for all grain legumes. LEGU-MED aims at valorizing, restoring and managing Mediterranean legume biodiversity including neglected genotypes and wild crop relatives. This purpose will be obtained through: 1) an agronomic, phenotypic and molecular evaluation of wild relatives, land races, neglected genotypes, elite cultivars of lentil and chickpea obtained from different regions of the Mediterranean basin, 2) development of improved traditional farming systems using different strategies: i) diversification, ii) multi-crop rotations, iii) biological regulation of ecosystems, iv) enhanced plant-microbe symbiosis, v) natural resource conservation. We will also put efforts on improving traditional agricultural systems to overcome limitations of yields, and quality of productions through the use of innovative technologies and approaches such as: 1) highly diverse conservation agriculture systems, 2) plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), 3) next-generation sequencing, 4) advanced molecular markers, 5) diversity-based ecosystem services as substitute for external inputs, 6) precision agriculture and phenomics, 7) learning-support and participatory methods for stakeholder involvement. We have assembled a multi-disciplinary consortium composed by 11 partners from 8 countries and consisting of 5 public universities, 5 research centers and 1 company. Our activities are designed to increase ecosystem services, maintain soil fertility, minimize the use of synthetic chemical compounds, and maintain a satisfactory and steady income for growers. LEGU-MED will use a participatory process where a subset of stakeholder’s community will be involved in the co-creation of innovative solutions.

Leaders

Prof. Sanja Sikora, PhD
University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture

Associates

Prof. Nina Toth, PhD
University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture

Assist. Prof. Ivana Rajnović, PhD
University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture

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