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Country: Belgium
28 Projects, page 1 of 6
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101060635
    Overall Budget: 3,333,690 EURFunder Contribution: 3,333,690 EUR

    The primary mission of the project is to foster innovation, knowledge exchange and provide novel solutions to empower farmers in Europe and associated countries to deliver to multiple objectives: food production, carbon capture, and biodiversity. Agroforestry is an auspicious land use type, allowing farmers to continue producing food while significantly improving the environmental sustainability of their operations. Integration of trees into agricultural business contributes to a host of ecosystem services, lowering the environmental and social impact of food production. Past research has attempted to foster the renaissance of agroforestry in Europe, resulting in a sizeable knowledge base and modelling capability. The most critical barriers to agroforestry adoption in Europe relate to lack of knowledge, impact of tree planting on farm business, and unclear policy support positioned between agriculture and forestry. We will employ a co-creation and multi-actor approach as our fundamental research method to place agroforestry systems in the right balance of farm productivity, socio-economic viability and sustainability. We will maximise the use of existing knowledge and data, utilise agroforestry living labs built upon foundations laid by previous projects, and establish a stakeholder and actor engagement platform to enable knowledge transfer, training and innovation. This project will prioritise enhancing knowledge exchange and transfer, enabling the integration of carbon and biodiversity finance in farm business models, and by proposing targeted policy interventions as solutions to overcoming barriers to agroforestry expansion.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101000651
    Overall Budget: 4,179,610 EURFunder Contribution: 3,687,540 EUR

    The mushroom sector is an excellent example of circular economy to provide high quality protein from crop substrate based on bio-based agricultural wastes. Productivity is however highly sensitive to several biotic disorders among which fungal parasites are responsible for major crop losses. Although chemical fungicides have been historically employed to fight mycoparasites, regulatory limitations for mushroom growers and increasing consumer awareness are urgently requesting solutions to overcome fungicide dependence. Bacterial strains isolated in a previous research from the casing layer employed in mushroom cultivation have proved to selectively suppress germination and development of most harmful mycoparasites, while additionally selected microbiota proved to work as mushroom growth promoting microorganisms. This project aims to develop a tailor-made solution for the mushroom sector where a peat-free casing soil (peat is an unsustainably sourced on which the sector is highly dependent to produce the peat-based casing employed nowadays) will serve as carrier for the selected microbiota that will act as crop biostimulant. This solution will be validated industrially by 4 different mushroom farms across the EU which integrate all the European cropping systems. BIOSCHAMP will generate a solution to improve industrial profitability while reducing the agronomical need for pesticides by 90%. Additionally, BIOSCHAMP solution will introduce innovation within the industry that will lead to create jobs in low populated rural areas and to secure long-term viability of the sector while complying with regulatory restrictions for chemical fungicides and peat-based materials. To accomplish these ambitious goals, the BIOSCHAMP project features a multidisciplinary consortium representing a complete picture of the European mushroom sector and associated industry with high priority given to mushroom growers noteworthy lead by a growers association.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 727872
    Overall Budget: 1,999,990 EURFunder Contribution: 1,999,990 EUR

    Agroforestry (AF) is the practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation (trees or shrubs) with crop and/or animal systems to benefit from the resulting ecological and economic interactions. Research activities developed by AFINET partners indicates that appropriate application of AF principles and practices is a key avenue to help the European Union to achieve more sustainable methods of food and fibre production, producing both profits for farmers and environmental benefits. However up to now exists a lack of AF knowledge among end-users that prevent the correct implementation of these practices. In this sense AFINET will act at EU level in order to take up research results into agricultural practice, improving knowledge exchange between scientists and practitioners on AF activities, with a special focus on silvoarable and silvopastoral systems design, management, and production and profitability. To achieve this objective AFINET consortium proposes an innovative methodology based on: (i) The creation of a EU reservoir of scientific and practical knowledge of AF with an end-user-friendly access (the “Knowledge Cloud”). (ii) The creation of a European Interregional network (composed of “Regional Agroforestry Innovation Networks” - RAINs) considering a multi-actor approach (including farmers, policy makers, advisory services, extension services, etc.), and articulated through the figure of the “Innovation Broker”. These RAINs groups will be interconnected in nine strategic regions of Europe from Spain, UK, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Poland, France and Finland, representing different climatic, geographical, social, and cultural conditions at European level. In addition, to create a greater user acceptance of the collected solutions and an intensive dissemination to end-users, AFINET will be linked to other networks, initiatives and policy instruments at regional, national and European level with a specific focus on the EIP-AGRI implementation.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101116076
    Overall Budget: 6,866,490 EURFunder Contribution: 6,377,840 EUR

    In order to defossilise the agricultural sector in line with the EU Green Deal, the local incorporation of renewable energy technologies matching local farmers’ needs in terms of electricity, heat, mobility, waste and land management is key. In this context, the VALUE4FARM project will gather 14 partners (including 7 research-oriented partners, 3 SMEs and 3 associations) in a 42-month project to demonstrate at TRL6-7 the effectiveness, sustainability and replicability of three renewable-based local value chains based on biogas, and coupling sustainable food and renewable-energy production. In Denmark, add-ons to the traditional biomethane pathway will be brought for answering the local specificities of large-scale farms. In Belgium, a pathway towards better use of already-existing residual streams will be demonstrated for efficient production of electricity/heat and fuel, thus answering mobility needs for small-scale farms. In Italy, hybridisation compatibilities will be investigated towards the creation of an efficient off-grid biomethane plant. Sustainable agricultural crop protocols will be developed, based on at least 200 farmers’ specifications, meeting the challenges of the agricultural sector, while matching renewable energy production. All value chains will promote circularity through nutrient recovery. The uptake of the demonstrated value chains will be facilitated by a strong involvement of farmers from the very beginning of the project. Three replication sites in Iceland, Italy and Poland have already been selected in the project. The assessment of the economic, environmental and social benefits of the VALUE4FARM value chains will be widely shared and disseminated to relevant stakeholders. In particular, to encourage the wider farming community across Europe to benefit from producing both food and energy from their land and showcasing the lessons learnt in the demonstration sites, an online decision support tool will be made available in open-access.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101060426
    Overall Budget: 1,999,750 EURFunder Contribution: 1,999,750 EUR

    Fertilisation is key to feeding the growing world population, yet the most common fertilisation scheme based on conventional fertilisers poses threats to the environment (e.g. eutrophication caused by nutrient leaching) and sustainability of the EU food system (due to high dependence on fertiliser imports from third countries). Thus, among the key EU political priorities is to reduce by 20% the use of conventional fertilisers by 2030 and to decrease nutrient losses by 50%. A promising solution for this aim are alternative fertilisers produced from recovered nutrients from secondary raw materials (e.g. bio-waste, sewage sludge). However, their wide scale deployment is hindered by lack of awareness about alternative fertilisation, concerns regarding their technical viability and the disparity of legislations that creates a state of uncertainty. In this context, FER-PLAY is a comprehensive approach to gather, harmonise, select and complement the knowledge on alternative fertiliser value chains and diffuse it to promote the wide-scale production and application of alternative fertilisers with best environmental, social and economic performance as well as technical and regulatory viability. Thus, FER-PLAY employs a unique methodology for mapping the value chains, select the most promising ones and assess their impacts. FER-PLAY engages key stakeholders in co-creation of results and broadly disseminates them. The consortium gathers key players from the whole value chain: (1) alternative fertiliser producers from all the main types of secondary raw materials (producers of digestate- 183 members, of compost- 120 members and of struvite), (2) entities representing conventional (1.5M members), organic (100,000 members) and young (200,000 members) farmers, (3) a Pan-European network with +100 members representing public administrations, supported by (4) waste valorisation and agriculture research institutes, (5) market strategists and (6) communication experts.


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