Resilient, water- and energy-efficient forage and feed crops for Mediterranean agricultural systems (REFORMA)
REFORMA is one of the 10 projects selected out of 79 by ARIMNet for funding in the context of its 2011 call for transnational agricultural research targeted to Mediterranean regions.
Crop-livestock and feed systems have huge socio-economic and environmental importance for Mediterranean regions, but are threatened by the marked insufficiency of high-protein feedstuff, the overexploitation of forage resources, the increasing costs and/or the decreasing availability of irrigation water and mineral fertilizers, and the increasing drought and heat stress arising from climate change.
REFORMA joins 9 research institutions from Italy, France, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and USA with the aim to alleviate these constraints, by developing:
- lucerne varieties with tolerance to severe drought, salinity, heat, and grazing;
- drought-tolerant pea varieties for grain or forage production;
- cost-efficient marker-assisted and ecologically-based breeding strategies, for lucerne and pea;
- innovative lucerne-based and pea-based forage crops.
The integrated activity of its 3 scientific workpackages and their expected outputs are summarized below :
by P. Annicchiarico