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The impact of climate change on natural resources is becoming increasingly apparent and clearly shows the limits of unsustainable farming. Innovation and research are essential to address the challenges of the future, i.e. to protect soils, water and biodiversity while still producing enough healthy food.

This applies not only to conventional agriculture, but also to organic agriculture. Within this framework, the National Action Plan for the Promotion of Organic Agriculture PAN Bio 2025 provides for a number of thematic areas (humus formation, value chain, reduction of plant protecting agents, etc.) in which demo and cultivation trials as well as innovation and research projects can be funded. For this purpose, there have been topic-oriented calls for proposals since the summer of 2022, in which advisory organisations and, in some cases, scientific institutions are invited to submit their projects. Here, you can find out about current projects and calls for proposals.

For consumers, old wheat varieties can also offer advantages, as they can be digestible for people with wheat intolerance. (Photo: iStock)

However, the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development is already supporting organic farming trials. For example, the variety trials (Sortenprüfung) of the “Institut fir Biologësch Landwirtschaft an Agrarkultur Luxemburg” (IBLA) are co-financed. These enable Luxembourg organic farmers to receive recommendations for species selection and thus to cultivate varieties that are better adapted to local conditions.

Knowledge transfer activities are also already being supported through the PAN Bio 2025. Last year, for example, IBLA was able to start building a value chain for old wheat varieties (Alter Weizen) in order to put the consumer and the organic farmer in a more direct relationship. Old wheat varieties are a sustainable and affordable alternative – due to their robustness against pests and diseases as well as the possibility for farmers to produce seeds themselves. However, such non-mainstream varieties often lack a subsequent value chain. Thus, in this project, small artisanal enterprises are networked with farmers and consumers. For consumers, old wheat varieties can also offer advantages, as they can be digestible for people with wheat intolerance, for example. More about this and other projects will soon be available on the portal of agriculture.

Together, these and many other activities can help strengthen knowledge about organic farming and better understand biological processes, thus making organic farming fit for the future.