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Steering organic farming transition

Descrizione del progetto

Ridurre la transizione dall’agricoltura convenzionale a quella biologica

La richiesta di cibo globale sta aumentando rapidamente. Infatti la produzione richiede di raddoppiare la capacità di nutrire una popolazione globale crescente usando solamente le terre attualmente disponibili. Ciò comporta una maggiore intensificazione agricola. Il progetto SOFT, finanziato dall’UE, indagherà come ridurre il periodo di transizione dall’agricoltura convenzionale a una tipologia più biologica. Nello specifico, esso verificherà se l’inoculazione può costituire un strumento valido per velocizzare la transizione dall’agricoltura convenzionale intensiva a quella biologica ad alta resa. Il progetto prenderà in considerazione anche se ciò può aiutare a superare gli effetti preesistenti del suolo dovuti a al terreno impoverito. Una cronosequenza di campi agricoli (convertiti dall’agricoltura convenzionale all’agricoltura biologica) verrà condotta nei Paesi Bassi.

Obiettivo

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.

Coordinatore

KONINKLIJKE NEDERLANDSE AKADEMIE VAN WETENSCHAPPEN - KNAW
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 187 572,48
Indirizzo
KLOVENIERSBURGWAL 29 HET TRIPPENHUIS
1011 JV AMSTERDAM
Paesi Bassi

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Regione
West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Tipo di attività
Research Organisations
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 187 572,48