DROMAMED represents a collaborative research project that aims at achieving clear impacts to boost sustainable farming systems in a climate change scenario by releasing maize varieties with enhanced resilience to drought and heat stress.
It is policy driven by two main strategic instruments: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the European Bioeconomy Strategy.
The World as a whole, but the Mediterranean Area particularly, are facing the unsustainable use and management of natural resources and the degradation of the lands for cultivation.
Having this challenge in mind, DROMAMED will launch activities to increase the variety of available food and the ability of maize agroecosystems to effectively respond and adapt to environmental challenges by ensuring biodiversity and releasing materials and resources for supporting sustainable Innovative Farming Systems under unfavourable conditions, while improving farmers conditions. Thus, the main result of DROMAMED will be the development of profitable maize varieties, environmental respectful and more resilient to severe climate constraints and deliver to end users such as breeders, farmers and producers.
MORE SPECIFICALLY, THESE ARE THE DROMAMED’S EXPECTED RESULTS:
Develop a Data Collection of Germplasm in order to make it more accessible for farmers and producers.
Release 9 Improved Maize Varieties for being used directly by farmers.
Define and implement 3 Maize Breeding Models, which consists in interdisciplinary approaches based on agro-technical, bio-technical and socio-economic techniques to design biodiversity-based farming systems that will help breeders.
Create 3 Agro-Biodiversity Living Labs in which researchers and all the stakeholders could receive and share scientific results, traditional breeding techniques as well as advising and feedback to improve DROMAMED’s results for end users.
Promote an Innovative Farming System (IFS) that will be based on germplasm adapted to specific environments from breeding programs. We will propose measures to redesign current agriculture towards IFS resilient to climate change that will sustain production under upcoming stress events. Our IFS will be oriented to diversifying crops and to use them under environmentally-friendly approaches. Organic agriculture, on-farm ridge plantings and intercropping models will be part of the IFS promoted by DROMAMED.
DROMAMED will have an immediate impact, and is aware of the relevance of providing guidance to farmers. Project’s results will provide arguments for social and economic useful analyses for policy decisions. Increased demand of improved local varieties will promote policy decisions about registration, multiplication and commercialization of local varieties, adaptive learning for both crop scientists and producers, and valorisation of agriculture with products with added value. The interaction between crop scientists, producers and farmers will result in guidance to conventional farmers for a transition to more sustainable and resilient farming systems.
DROMAMED WILL IMPLEMENT
New maize varieties more tolerant to drought and heat stress
Publications that will advance on new scientific knowledge related to the following topics
– Mechanisms of response to stress in plants
– Genetic variation of maize germplasm in the Mediterranean
– Climatic drivers of adaptation
Techniques for farmers involving new knowledge on maize breeding
– Genomic tools and data to enable rapid exploitation of untapped alleles
– Simulation tools for breeding
– Crop management practices for facing climate change
– Use of landraces in breeding
– Risk and cost/benefit analyses
– Economic and ecological impacts of new native traits
– Value of better adapted varieties for industrial uses under climate change and for the bio-economy
– New opportunities for the development of seeds and production sectors
– To overcome the barriers to the exploitation of plant collections along with the adoption of improved varieties
– For better acceptance of adaptive strategies for climate change and for overcoming administrative regulatory obstacles
– To foster changes in breeding
– To support the adoption of productive and resilient varieties
– To efficiently engage socio-economic networks to communicate policy recommendations
Workshops and dissemination activities to increase awareness about
– The value of the large genetic diversity that exists within landraces across the Mediterranean region and the needs for both its protection and sustainable use
– The role of plant breeding as rational approaches to handle genetic resources optimally, for the benefit of society
Breeders, Farmers and farmer associations, federations and advisors. Industry and SMEs (seeds industry, cereal production industry and-related sectors)
Academics, Researchers, Students Other people with interest in the project: Policy makers and environmental agencies Consumers and general public interested in maize breeding