First European conference on crop diversification brings together more than 200 participants
The first European Conference on Crop Diversification took place from the 18th to the 21st of September 2019 in Budapest, Hungary. It explored the role of crop diversification and strategies towards sustainable agri-food systems. The DiverIMPACTS project, funded under the European Union’s Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, convened the conference in collaboration with its partner projects Diverfarming, DIVERSify, ReMIX, LegValue, and TRUE as well as the German programme INSUSFAR. The local host was DiverIMPACTS partner ÖMKI, the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture.
DiverIMPACTS coordinator Antoine Messéan from the French National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) opened the event saying “this conference will help explore how to achieve transition to diversified and sustainable agri-food systems. I look forward to creating momentum on crop diversification that brings together scientists, farmers and value chains actors to foster transition to sustainable agri-food systems.”
ÖMKI director Dora Drexler explained that the conference attracted as many as 215 participants from 25 countries. At the event, 89 oral communications and 75 posters were presented in 16 parallel sessions and five thematic workshops.
The keynote speakers John Ingram (University of Oxford, UK), Pablo Tittonell (CONICET, Argentina), Julie Dawson (University of Wisconsin-Madison, US), Phil Howard (Michigan State University, US), and Emmanuel Petel and Susana Gaona Sáez (European Commission, Belgium) held inspiring talks and thus contributed greatly to the success of the conference. Their presentations covered themes related to the role of crop diversification and strategies towards sustainable agri-food systems such as: agroecology; ecological intensification; bridging information gaps between producers and consumers; collaboration along value chains from breeders and farmers to consumers; and the future European Common Agricultural Policy and Research & Innovation.
In the scientific sessions, topics such as impacts of crop diversification, incentives to promote diversification along value chains, or policy recommendations, to name just a few, were addressed, and intense discussions on how crop diversification can be promoted took place.
“Impressive works. Inspiring journeys. Still a lot to do” was the conclusion of a participant posted on Twitter. Participants agreed that the conference was a highly inspiring platform for exchange between the different Horizon2020 projects, which are all aiming to help increasing the diversification of European cropping systems.
The conference saw the development of a stable community around crop diversification represented by the recently established “Crop Diversification Cluster,” which is committed to transferring knowledge on barriers to crop diversification, decision and assessment tools that can help diversify agri-food systems, and policy recommendations. The Crop Diversifcation Cluster is a collaboration of the projects DiverIMPACTS, Remix, TRUE Legumes, DIVERSify, LegValue and Diverfarming, which are all financed under the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union.
- Antoine Messean, French National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), Antoine.Messean@inra.fr
- Lise Paresys, French National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), email@example.com
- Diverimpacts website: www.diverimpacts.net
- Conference website: www.cropdiversification2019.net
- Crop Diversification cluster website: cropdiversifcation.eu
The conference proceedings, outcome of the workshops and blog contributions will be made available on the conference website www.cropdiversification2019.net and on the cluster website www.cropdiversifcation.eu.