It is carried on by a consortium composed of researchers, farmers, value chain actors and consumers. It develops solutions and tools that promote underutilised crops, agrobiodiversity, sustainable diets and dynamic value chains.
META Group supports RADIANT by developing the methodologies needed to generate new knowledge and exploitable results that will be used for capacity building, training, commercialisation, or further scientific development.
- Demonstrate successful transitions to inclusive agrobiodiversity systems;
- Carry out improvement programs so that underdeveloped crops become more competitive;
- Test the best agricultural practices that maximize their sustainable production;
- Expand their environmental, social and nutritional recognition, through the characterization of its multiple benefits;
- Offer solutions for their integration into profitable value chains, based on political, social and governance innovations;
- Empower society to integrate these foods into their diets
With a duration of 4 years, the project has 20 pilots (AURORA farms), which cover different agro-ecologies across Europe, and where good practices will be tested and demonstrated.
Why Is It Important?
In the last century, 75% of the genetic diversity of crops has been lost. There are about 259,000 plant species of which 50,000 are edible, with 150-200 actually consumed, and only three provide 60% of the calories and nutrition in the human diet (maize, rice and wheat). It is also estimated that very few crops account for the largest percentage of occupied land: maize (6.7%), potato (4.8%) soybean (6.5%), and wheat (9.5%).
While smallholder farmers may often produce a variety of landraces and crop species, most do not have well-established producer-consumer links; are unaware or have no access to monetary incentives or no capacity to apply for them; and lack access to sufficient quantities of locally adapted seeds and farming and processing machinery.
In parallel, cropping systems are underpinned by an agricultural paradigm of monoculture and industrialised agriculture (hybrids, agrochemicals), contributing to the decrease of crop diversity, reflected in the repetitious foods European citizens consume daily.
The EU Farm to Fork Strategy aims to make the EU food system more robust and resilient to future crises like COVID-19, growing population demands and increasingly recurrent natural disasters such as floods or droughts. To achieve this, value chains must move towards becoming more biodiverse and resilient, hence dynamic.
RADIANT Project Network
The European project "RADIANT – Realizing Dynamic Value Chains for Underutilised Crops", coordinated by Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Porto (Portugal), involves 29 entities from 12 countries – Portugal, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Hungary , Spain, Greece, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Cyprus – and also has the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as a partner.
Lear more on: www.radiantproject.eu