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Steering organic farming transition

Descripción del proyecto

Acortar la transición de la agricultura convencional a la ecológica

La demanda mundial de alimentos aumenta rápidamente. De hecho, se tiene que duplicar la producción para alimentar a la creciente población mundial usando únicamente la tierra actualmente disponible. Esto significa una mayor intensificación agrícola. El proyecto SOFT, financiado con fondos europeos, investigará cómo acortar el periodo de transición de una agricultura convencional a un tipo de explotación agrícola más ecológico. En concreto, probará si la inoculación puede ser una herramienta prometedora para acelerar la transición de la agricultura de alto rendimiento tradicional a la agricultura ecológica de alto rendimiento. El proyecto también estudiará si puede ayudar a superar los «efectos heredados del suelo» debido al empobrecimiento de las comunidades edáficas. En los Países Bajos, se llevará a cabo una cronosecuencia de las tierras de los agricultores que pasaron de la agricultura tradicional a la ecológica.

Objetivo

A key challenge for sustainable intensification of agriculture is to reduce hunger and poverty by producing increasing amounts of food, feed, and bioenergy for a growing world population, but with minimal loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. In intensive conventional farming systems yields are high, but soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning are often reduced, and soil food webs are simplified. Organic farming provides a more environmentally sustainable alternative, but it typically produces lower yields, particularly in early years after conversion.

In SOFT (Steering Organic Farming Transition), I will test if soil inoculation may be a promising tool to speed up the transition from high-yield conventional to high-yield organic agriculture and can help to overcome ‘soil legacy effects’ due to impoverished soil communities. First, I will use a chronosequence of farmers’ fields throughout The Netherlands that have been converted from conventional to organic farming to study the role that the structure of soil networks may have in soil functioning. Then, I will use soil collected from these sites to test the potential of soil inoculation to aid the transition of soil communities and coupling of soil networks in organic farming systems.

By revealing the potential of whole soil inoculation to regenerate soil networks, and how soil networks relate to functioning in agroecosystems, SOFT will be a ground-breaking advancement compared to current efforts to understand the transition from conventional to organic systems and may serve as a baseline for downstream manipulation studies in which certain soil communities may be engineered as inoculants to steer and speed-up this transition. Taken together, SOFT will contribute to establish new management practices that may help to shorten the transition period from conventional farming to a more organic type of farming that maintains high crop yields while having less negative environmental impacts.

Coordinador

KONINKLIJKE NEDERLANDSE AKADEMIE VAN WETENSCHAPPEN - KNAW
Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 187 572,48
Dirección
KLOVENIERSBURGWAL 29 HET TRIPPENHUIS
1011 JV AMSTERDAM
Países Bajos

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Región
West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Tipo de actividad
Research Organisations
Enlaces
Coste total
€ 187 572,48