Climate Resilient Orphan croPs for increased DIVersity in Agriculture

01 September 2021 → 31 August 2025
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Crop science
    • Agribusiness
    • Sustainable agriculture
    • Food sensory sciences
agrobiodiversity crops sustainaible agriculture agri-food chain
Other information
Project description

Agrobiodiversity is a crucial prerequisite for ecologically and economically sustainable agricultural and food systems and is an important tool for ecological intensification of agricultural systems. However, agrobiodiversity is a complex concept that is the result of the interaction between the environment, genetic resources and management systems used by culturally diverse people. CROPDIVA will reinforce agrobiodiversity in European agricultural cropping systems on different levels and along distinct geographic and socio-economic areas resulting in resilient food and feed production systems. To realise the project objectives CROPDIVA will focus on (1) the promotion of six underutilised crops: oats, triticale, hull-less barley, narrow-leafed lupin, buckwheat and faba bean in various cropping systems and (2) on the creation of new value chains. The selected crops have unique features. Firstly, the six underutilised crops are characterised by a broad genepool, which serves as a reservoir for important traits related to e.g. resilience to (a)biotic stress as well as nutritional quality. This great genetic diversity ensures the development of climate resilient varieties. Secondly, the selected crops have great ecological benefits and advantages for a sustainable crop management system. For example, many of them produce nectar rich flowers and/or biologically fix nitrogen. Others result in early stubble, which allow to sowing cover/catch crops as a second crop or they mature early leading to a lower transpiration coefficient and less water use. Thirdly, these crops possess a high nutritious and food technological value, which create many possibilities to develop new food/feed and non-food products; a more diversified value chain will provide new market opportunities for the local food/feed and associated non-food industry and will provide opportunities for new innovative products tailored to the local demand.

Role of Ghent University
Geert Haesaert /UGent is Coordinator of project UGent is mainly involved in research activities on plant breeding and cropping systems (research group of Geert Haesaert) and in research activities related to consumer behavior and sensory acceptance (research group of Xavier Gellynck).