Grain legumes represent a lever to meet two major challenges for Walloon agriculture, namely reducing the use of nitrogenous inputs thanks to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and increasing the protein autonomy of our agri-food systems thanks to their protein-rich seeds. Mixed cropping systems, consisting in growing several species in a mixture on the same plot, represent one of the solutions to face the main challenges related to legumes crops in organic farming (weed control, sensitivity to lodging and diseases, etc.). However, the adoption of this practice by farmers remains limited due to the questions that the integration of these associations, in the cropping systems and in the value chains, raise.
The AssoBIO project aims at co-constructing and testing production itineraries of mixed crops integrating legumes crops in order to reach the growing societal demand for plant proteins. This co-construction will be carried out by involving actors from the entire sector. This research project will therefore emphasize a participatory approach combining multi-stakeholder workshops and on-farm trials with the aim of highlighting actionable knowledge and removing obstacles to the development of associated crops integrating protein crop species.
In order to reach this general objective, the operational objectives of this project are :
- To characterize the phytotechnical itineraries currently implemented in a range of pedoclimatic and socio-economic situations, in parallel with the definition of the obstacles and levers encountered;
- To highlight and co-build, with all the actors involved (producers, processors, distributors), possible solutions (place of associations in the rotation, relay cultivation, cleaning in the field/mobile sorter) to the obstacles raised by the latter;
- To test and evaluate, on the farm, phytotechnical itineraries for the production of mixed crops that meet the expectations of the actors of the sector.
Participating farmers and actors
This project is funded by the Walloon Region in the context of the recovery plan for Wallonia.