Profitable organic farming techniques based on traditional crops: contrasting soil degradation in the Mediterranean - (Crops for Better Soil)
UPM main researcher
Juan Pablo del Monte Diaz de Guereñu
ETSI AGRONÓMICA, ALIMENT. Y BIOSISTEMAS
Transati, S.L. (ES)
- Asociación Vida Sana (ES)
- Medusa Explorations BV (NL)
- SAATZUCHT STEINACH GMBH & CO KG (DE)
- Transfer Latin Business Consultancy, S.L. (ES)
- UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE MADRID (ES)
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.
- 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.