Together with over 20 other European research institutions, Agroscope has signed a memorandum of understanding for the promotion of a sustainable agri-food system in Europe. The declaration of intention establishes formal cooperation between the partner institutions.
On 23 February 2020, Head of Agroscope Eva Reinhard joined with over 20 other representatives of European research institutions in signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) entitled ‘Towards a Chemical Pesticide-Free Agriculture’. The signing took place at the International Agricultural Show in Paris in the presence of the French Minister of Agriculture and the Minister for European Affairs. The MoU gives the go-ahead for the implementation of the ambitious vision of a chemical-pesticide-free European farming sector.
A common European vision
The cooperation aims to contribute specifically to the creation of a sustainable agri-food system for the whole of Europe. In order to achieve this, the partners will work together with other relevant players to develop a common research agenda geared to the European ‘green deal’, whose aim is to achieve an environmentally friendly, sustainable, fair, equitable and competitive agri-food sector across the entire value-added chain.
The agreement encompasses inter alia an enhanced dialogue between researchers and stakeholders across the entire continent, as well as the implementation of multilateral research and innovation projects and the integration of new systemic and multidisciplinary approaches.
Sustainable international solutions
Agroscope conducts targeted research for a sustainable agricultural sector and develops appropriate solutions. Currently, alternatives to chemical pesticides are being sought in over 40 projects encompassing research areas such as plant breeding, cultivation systems, early- warning systems and digitisation. Owing to the advanced stage of its research in these fields, Agroscope was asked to become a partner in the European research alliance, and is expected to assume an important role in this area.
“With this memorandum of understanding we aim to strengthen pan-European cooperation, expedite the search for solutions and contribute our know-how, whilst simultaneously benefiting from an international knowledge exchange that is of key importance, particularly in research” remarked Eva Reinhard, Head of Agroscope. “Cooperation at an international level taps into valuable synergies and enables new joint findings that can be used across borders. This brings us an important step closer to the common objective of a more sustainable agricultural sector.”