The various Departments of the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre offer complementary areas of expertise and together form a multidisciplinary research institution covering the main fields of interest in agriculture, horticulture and forestry as well as the food processing industries and environmental sciences. From biotechnology to plant and animal products, plant breeding and crop protection, agricultural engineering or product quality, all the Departments work in coordination to optimise products in terms of both quantity and quality by reducing inputs (creating tolerant varieties, precision farming, integrated management of fertilisation and phytosanitary protection, etc.) or by creating added value or differentiated quality products, while taking society’s expectations into account.
The Centre has contacts with a number of enterprises in Belgium and abroad in connection with assignments ranging from specific services (consultancy, routine analyses, etc.) to providing advice (scientific guidance over varying lengths of time) or research and development projects. CRA-W has considerable measuring and analytical capability comprising over 300 different analyses of a wide range of products.
The commonest tasks involve problems connected with fertilizers and soil amendments, plant protection products, environmental protection (soil, water, plants), in vitro multiplication of temperate and tropical plants, the quality of agricultural and food products (NIRS - FTIR, development of calibration equations, quality network management, etc.), food safety (mycotoxins) and the use of biomass for energy and in industry.