The agriculture and food sector faces major challenges. Among others, these include climate change, protecting the air, soil, water and biodiversity, and providing a healthy diet to a growing population. Agroscope’s 2022–2025 Work Programme takes up these challenges. Encompassing over 100 projects, the Work Programme has six core themes or priorities:
Today’s agricultural production and food systems are rife with trade-offs, for example between productivity and environmental impacts. Agroscope is looking for solutions to reduce these trade-offs, whilst bearing in mind that producers need to generate a high enough income, and that they make an important contribution to food security.
Guided by the principles of agroecology
Agroscope’s 2022–2025 Work Programme is increasingly guided by the principles of agroecology. Agroecology aims to use a holistic approach to structure agriculture and food systems in an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable manner. This involves a wide range of varieties and cropping systems, resource efficiency, and making use of synergies, e.g. through symbioses between fungi and plants. Closing nutrient cycles is also important. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) sees agroecology as providing major opportunities for achieving the UN’s sustainability targets.
Researching within the system and with practice
Agroscope’s 2022–2025 Work Programme focuses strongly on system research: Problems will be investigated in an interdisciplinary fashion throughout the entire agriculture and food sector, e.g. in collaboration with farmers as well as consumers.
Agroscope increasingly develops knowledge in co-creation with stakeholders along the value chain. This happens inter alia at the new experimental stations which the Research Centre has been launching since 2021. There, together with the cantons, farmers, extension, sectoral associations, and often with SMEs as well, Agroscope develops solutions for an agriculture and food sector with a bright future.
Numerous Needs Taken on Board
In addition to the Federal Office for Agriculture's research concept, a survey of the needs of stakeholders in the agriculture and food sector provides the basis for Agroscope's Work Programme. In various workshops, the concerns of these stakeholders were discussed, prioritised, and where possible taken on board in the Work Programme.
Three questions for Eva Reinhard, Head of Agroscope
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