Following ‘Soil-Q’, two further research projects with the notable participation of Agroscope researchers – ‘PERECUSO’ and ‘Bio-C’ – have been included in the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development. Together, researchers from Switzerland and Cuba are devising solutions for sustainable development in agriculture.
In the Agroscope project ‘Pesticide Residues in Cuban Soils’ – ‘PERECUSO’ for short – a Cuban-Swiss team is investigating the influence on humans and the environment of various pest-control systems used in Cuban potato production. Over several cropping periods, researchers will analyse pesticide residues in soils and potato tubers, as well as a series of parameters such as productivity, soil fertility and ecosystem services. Swiss Soil Monitoring Network (NABO) data is incorporated in the project work. The project is led by Thomas Bucheli, with the involvement of Agroscope employees Armin Keller and Markus Lips.
The second project – ‘Nutrient and Carbon Cycling for Cuba’ (‘Bio-C’) – is headed by Hans-Peter Schmidt of the Ithaka Institute for Carbon Strategies, and aims to optimise the nutrient and carbon cycles of biogenic waste in Cuba. Agroscope researchers Jochen Mayer and Thomas Bucheli also bring their expertise to bear in this project.
Funded by the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (the ‘r4d’ Programme), both projects will run for four years. Scientific quality and relevance for sustainable development are key requirements for the selection of the projects. The r4d Programme is a joint initiative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).