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Crops for better soil - Profitable organic farming techniques based on traditional crops: contrasting soil degradation in the Mediterranean

LIFE10 ENV/ES/000471


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Mariano SAZ ACHUELO
Tel: +34.918868488
Fax: + 34.918858800
Email: mariano@transati.com



Project description:

Background

Farmland occupies around 50% of Europe’s land area and farming activities have shaped a rich variety of landscapes and habitats. It plays a vital role in maintaining natural resources and cultural landscapes and is crucial for many human activities. However, inappropriate agricultural practices also cause adverse environmental effects, including degradation and pollution of soil, water shortages and pollution, air pollution, fragmentation of habitats and loss of biodiversity.

In Spain, as in most Mediterranean countries, agricultural yields have been falling steadily, unless propped up by artificial irrigation or the use of fertilisers and pesticides. It is only because of EU’s farm subsidies (CAP) that agriculture persists in less prosperous areas. Every year, large tracts of land fall into disuse, as erosion and ever drier soils mean that farming is no longer viable. Currently in Spain, the organic matter content of dry lands ranges from 0.0 to 0.5%.

Organic agriculture has long been recognised as having positive benefits for the soil and the environment generally, but it continues to be scarcely applied, especially in these poor-soil areas. This is mainly attributed to insufficient knowledge about optimal application techniques and the perception of low economic benefits unless supported by subsidies.


Objectives

This LIFE project aims to demonstrate that the application of organic farming techniques can make cultivation of semi-arid land economically viable. The project therefore aims to demonstrate an alternative to current erosive farming practices and land abandonment in areas with vulnerable dry soil types.

The project will examine optimal combinations of methodologies (crop rotation; fertilisation with compost; and re-introduction of traditional crops) to achieve the best soil and crop quality results for specific soil and climate conditions. It will seed a variety of crops - including the re-introduction of at least five traditional crops - on a variety of soil types with different characteristics in terms of acidity, erosion, stones, organic matter, humidity, etc.

Weather stations and innovative sensor technologies will be applied to monitor, analyse and manage the different variables of the project sites. Control areas will be used to enable assessment of the effects of different practices. Farmers collaborating with the project will receive tailored training to enable their effective participation.

Expected results:

    • A 20% increase in the organic content of topsoil (fertility) and yields of semi-arid land through organic farming methods;
    • Reintroduction of at least five traditional crops to semi-arid areas;
    • Promotion of new niches markets for organic produce with a lower CO2 footprint compared to other types of farming;
    • Demonstration of the economic viability of organic farming on semi-arid land;
    • Development of the skills base and enhancement of the quality of life of farmers.


    Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry - Fisheries


Keywords

organic farming‚  soil degradation‚  environmental training


Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Transati S.L.
Type of organisation Large enterprise
Description Transati is a Spanish logistics company specialising in the supply of organic cereals, seeds and legumes. It also advises producers on issues such as administrative documentation, crop rotation and organic fertilisation.
Partners Transfer Latin Business Consultancy S.L., Spain Universidad Politécnica Madrid, Spain Asociación Vida Sana, Spain Medusa Explorations BV, The Netherlands Saatzucht Steinach GmbH & Co KG, Germany

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Project reference LIFE10 ENV/ES/000471
Duration 15-OCT-2011 to 14-OCT -2016
Total budget 3,556,642.00 €
EU contribution 1,729,070.00 €
Project location Galicia(España),Asturias(España),Cantabria(España),País Vasco(España),Navarra(España),Rioja(España),Aragón(España),Madrid(España),Castilla-León(España),Castilla-La Mancha(España),Extremadura(España),Cataluña(España),Comunidad Valenciana(España),Baleares(España),Andalucía(España),Murcia(España),Ceuta y Melilla(España),Canarias(España)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Publication: Article-Paper "Biología, ecología y control de malas hierbas. In ...
Publication: Article-Paper "Eficiencia en el cultivo del cereal de secano: Un ...
Publication: Case study "Gestión de cultivos extensivos de secano. In: Cua ...
Publication: Case study "Control de malas hierbas: Cultivos extensivos de ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Lo que debe saber un agricultor para manejar el s ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Reconocimiento de suelos y gestión de la fertiliz ...
Publication: Technical report "Microorganismos del suelo y biofertilización. In: ...
Slides Presentation "Asesoramiento empresarial: Demanda europea de cer ...
Slides Presentation "Historia del suelo y ciencia de la rizosfera: los ...
Slides Presentation "Proyectos Life “Cultivos tradicionales” & “Operac ...
Slides Presentation "Millora de sòls amb tècniques d'agricultura ecolò ...
Slides Presentation "Cultivos extensivos ecológicos: Tecnicas básicas. ...
Slides Presentation "Bases científicas de la agricultura ecológica. In ...
Slides Presentation "Introducción a la agricultura ecológica. In: Prim ...
Slides Presentation "Crops for Better Soil: LIFE 10 ENV ES 441. In: Pr ...
Slides Presentation "Presentación del proyecto Crops for better soil. ...
Slides Presentation "Introducción proyecto Crops for better soil. In: ...
Slides Presentation "Sensing Soil Physical Properties. In: Conferencia ...
Slides Presentation "Resultados agronómicos. In: Conferencia Final de ...
Slides Presentation "Transferencia tecnológica e impacto social. In: C ...
Slides Presentation "Communication during and after LIFE. In: Conferen ...
Slides Presentation "Project LIFE HELPSOIL - Adapting to climate chang ...
Slides Presentation "Life+Climagri: Buenas prácticas agrarias agrícola ...
Slides Presentation "It's the Biology my dear friends!. In: Conferenci ...
Slides Presentation "Producción y la comercializacíon de la producción ...
Slides Presentation "Agricultura ecologica en secano: Soluciones soste ...
Slides Presentation "Presentación 3º Curso de Formación. In: Tercer cu ...
Slides Presentation "Presentación de resultados y proyectos actuales. ...
Slides Presentation "Introducción al control ecológico de malas hierba ...
Slides Presentation "Pensando en la protección y la salud de la planta ...
Slides Presentation "Las micorrizas y su papel en las plantas. In: 3º ...
Slides Presentation "Métodos sostenibles para el manejo de la agricult ...
Slides Presentation "Crops for better soil: Sensing soil properties. I ...
Slides Presentation "Agricultura ecológica en secano: Soluciones soste ...
Slides Presentation "Situación actual de los cultivos ecológicos y su ...

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version