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Valorising and balancing the ecosystem service benefits offered by legumes, and legume-based cropped systems

Project description

The path to sustainable agriculture lined with legumes

In the face of agricultural challenges, the EU-funded LegumES project ensures the quantification and balance of environmental and economic ecosystem service benefits provided by legumes (such as peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas and soybeans), addressing environmental and economic aspects. With a consortium of 22 partners spanning academia, research organisations, SMEs, NGOs and commercial companies, LegumES uses an action-research approach. By engaging stakeholders throughout value chains, the project strives for a locally and globally successful optimisation of ecosystem services in legume-based agriculture. The groundbreaking strategy includes 25 innovative legume-based pilot studies across Europe’s varied pedoclimatic regions. The studies use a range of legume species and types, plus different cropping approaches.


The legumES will ensure: 1, the uptake of best practices in agrobiodiverse legume-based cropped systems; 2, the uptake of methodologies and tools to quantify and balance the environmental and economic ecosystem service (ES) benefits provided by legumes; 3, that the ES benefits and cost offered by legumes are quantified across scales from field, farm, regional, national, and global levels; and 4, ES will be assessed to identify those conditions which are able to meet the EU targets: to decrease agrichemical inputs and losses, combat climate change, reverse biodiversity loss, and ensure the best nutritional provisioning. To achieve this, legumES offers a multi-disciplinary consortium comprising 22 partners from 12 EU- and third countries (UK, CH) and including: 7, academic institutions; 6, Research and Technology Organizations; 5, SMEs (or micro-SMEs); 2, non-governmental organisations; and 2, large commercial companies. The individuals comprising legumES offer skills which include: agricultural-crop and -environment (ES) monitoring, life cycle assessment, economic- and socioeconomic-modelling, social-science, EU-agricultural and environmental policy, and law, plus decision support systems. The legumES research and innovation strategy centres on the use of a multiactor action-research approach, that is, where legume-facing stakeholders, and especially producers though all value chains actors, can ‘operate’, ‘collaborate’ and, reflect critically’ on the measured ES benefits and costs of legume-based cropped systems, including legumes use in marginal lands; so that an optimal balance of ES can be achieved with success locally, and globally. To help achieve this LegumES also centres activities on a suite of 25 innovative legume-based Pilot Studies which use a wide range of legume species and types, plus different cropping approaches and linked value chains spanning the pedoclimatic regions of Europe.


Net EU contribution
€ 526 232,50
1649 023 Lisboa

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Continente Área Metropolitana de Lisboa Área Metropolitana de Lisboa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 526 232,50

Participants (17)

Partners (4)