Project title: Innovative and sustainable intensification of integrated food and non-food systems to develop climate-resilient agro-ecosystems in Europe and beyond
Project type: ERANET
Contractor: University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca
Project manager: Conf. dr. Mignon Șandor
The main objective of SustainFARM is to enhance agronomic, environmental and economic performance of integrated foodand non-food production systems (IFNS) by optimizing productivity and valorizing woody components, residual wastes and co-products. IFNS are systems in which trees, crops and livestock components are integrated in different ways at differentscales(plot-field-farm). SustainFARM has adopted an innovative case-study approach, whereby locally relevant IFNS arealready identified, to work in close collaboration with the local end-users of the technology such as farmers, advisory services and policy makers. By involving the end-users and other stakeholders from the start of the project activity, we will co-generate technology, relevant at the local scale to address productivity issues and enhance valorisation of the unused, residual and co-products. SustainFARM will investigate the economic and environmental performance of the range of locally relevant IFNS across several agri-climatic zones of Europe and design innovative IFNS systems, which are resilient and climate-smart. Value chains and life cycle analysis of the new bio-products (terrified pellets, bio-energy and food supplements etc.) will be carried out to assess the environmental footprint of the valorization processes. The best practices and innovative methods will be synthesized into a decision support tool (DST) to enable informed decision making by farmers, advisory services and policy makers. To promote the adoption of IFNS in Europe, SustainFARM will communicate and disseminate through stakeholder-oriented media and tools to facilitate knowledge exchange, based onthe scientific and practical agronomic knowledge generated in the project and the needs of the various stakeholder groups.
The specific objectives are to:
1. Assess resource use efficiency and design innovative and cost-effective IFNS for optimum productivity.
2. Develop sustainability metrics to assess agronomic productivity and environmental performance.
3. Innovate new value chains by converting the woody components, residual waste and co-products into high value bio-energy carriers and bio-products.
The expected results are:
1. On-farm assessments of productivity measures in five locally relevant innovative IFNS.
2. Innovative technical pathways for maximum value addition of woody components and residual waste and co-products.
3. A decision support tool for environmental and socio-economic evaluation of IFNS for informed decision making by farmers, advisory services and policy makers.