Project: Innovative resilient farming systems in Mediterranean environments

Duration 01/06/2021 - 31/05/2024
Project Topic In a TRANSITION to resilient agriculture in the Mediterranean, the main goals must be optimized productivity, long-term biological, economic, and social sustainability, provision of multiple ecosystem services, and minimal environmental degradation. Modern agroforestry and mixed farming systems are farming options with great added value as compared to intensive monoculture - both economically and ecologically – promoting resilience and providing multiple ecosystem services. Farmers require replicable results which assure income equality, and administrations require evidence and data to drive sustainable intensification. Furthermore, these systems are compatible with other enhanced farming options such as organic or regenerative agriculture. In order to “Redesign agro-livelihood systems to ensure resilience” (call topic), innovative strategies are required to promote improved overall integration of agricultural systems, with the primary objective of assuring farmer livelihoods. With this in mind, the goal of TRANSITION is to pave the way towards resilient agriculture in the Mediterranean, maximizing the net positive impact on the environment, while increasing resilience of agroecosystems, rural societies and return on assets to farmers. This is done by analyzing a large selection of the existing farming systems based on agroforestry and mixed farming using a participatory approach. TRANSITION will i) identify appropriate strategies and technologies for adoption to improve resilience of the Mediterranean agriculture sector, including unconventional water reuse and soil protection strategies ii) establish what are the environmental and socio-economic barriers to resilient agriculture implementation iii) quantify the system productivity and delivery of ecosystem services of existing systems and co-designed and replicable case studies and their effect on farmers’ livelihoods iv) empower the expansion of agroforestry and mixed farming systems as sustainable intensification options through practical innovation and knowledge exchange and v) provide robust information which is useful to administrations in terms of measurable impacts and possible transition scenarios which maximize ecological services delivery and system resilience of key Mediterranean cropping systems. On-the-ground research and innovation in TRANSITION is organized in a distributed manner in five different countries and regions. The study regions are Catalonia (Spain), Sétif (Algeria), Sicily (Italy), the Behia and Kafr Elsheihk Governates of Egypt, and Southwest France, for a total of three regions in the North Mediterranean and two in the South, representing different pedo-climatic areas, cultures, and agricultural practices. Regions comparisons include water reuse, olive and cereal agroforestry, and mixed farming with cows, but local conditions, important crops, and practices are inherently diverse, and this diversity must be respected and considered. In this sense, we have pre-identified 20 resilience-building strategies 29 traditional and innovative farming systems which will be considered. These include novel mixtures of crops trees, and animals, technologies such as biostimulants and biochar, water recovery, and genetic resources. Digital tools must be increasingly employed for agricultural management and territorial planning. On one hand, Earth observation methods (EO) will be used to identify which systems are historically most resilient to climatic and other disturbances and guarantee productivities and incomes, and the on-the-ground experiments are also contrasted with the same remote sensing tools. With this approach TRANSITION is able to consider a large variety of farming systems, detect those which should be promoted, and offer strategic territorial analysis. Secondly, a highly innovative digital knowledge-sharing platform and data-sharing tool is deployed internationally in order to promote development of sustainable farming systems.
Website visit project website
Network PRIMA
Call Section 2 Call 2020 - Multi-topic

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Fundació Universitària Balmes Coordinator Spain
3 Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique d’Algeria Partner Algeria
4 City of Scientific Research and Technological applications Partner Egypt
5 Association Française d’Agroforesterie Partner France
6 Unité de recherche Écodéveloppement Partner France
7 Landfiles Partner France
8 National Observatory of Athens Partner Greece