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Promoting minor crops in farming systems
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 1: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
In line with the objectives of the farm to fork and biodiversity strategies, successful proposals will promote diversification in agriculture as a means to increase the resilience and sustainability of the sector vis-a-vis challenging environmental, climatic and economic conditions. By increasing agrobiodiversity, activities will contribute to food security, adaptation of the agricultural production to the effects of climate change, and thereby support implementation of the farm to fork strategy, the common agricultural policy and the EU climate policy under the European Green Deal.
Farmers face increasing pressure to shift production towards lower input systems, while continuing to ensure sufficient supplies of food and non-food products. The European Green Deal in particular has set ambitious targets to reduce by 2030 the overall use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers, reduce nutrient losses and increase organic farming. Activities shall release the value of minor crops and promote their broader use in breeding, farming and in food/non-food value chains. For the purpose of this topic, minor crops are defined as underutilised and/or genetically diverse crops (including landraces and varieties).
- Promote the access to minor crops engaging in breeding activities;
- Improve agronomic management practices for minor crops;
- Explore the effects and benefits of minor crops and demonstrate the ecosystems services supported by farming system diversification and the integration of minor crops (if applicable, including novel crop rotations).
- Identify and test avenues for marketing and processing of more diverse farming outputs across the value chain;
- Promote the uptake of minor crops through the development of guidelines and wide-spread practical demonstrations taking into account a range of farming systems, pedo-climatic conditions and value chains;
- Support capacity building, training and education enabling farmers/growers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices.
The topic is open to all types of farming systems (e.g., arable farming, horticulture, fruit trees) in various geographical and pedo-climatic conditions. Result of activities should benefit both conventional and organic agriculture.
Activities must implement the multi-actor approach, thus ensure an adequate involvement of researchers, farmers, advisors, food industry, and other players in the value chain and consumers. Communication and outreach to a wide range of stakeholders is essential. This topic should include the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.
Where relevant, proposals should seek complementarities and synergies, while avoiding duplication and overlap, with relevant actions funded under Horizon 2020. Proposals should specify how they plan to collaborate with other proposals selected under this and other relevant topics, for example by undertaking joint activities, workshops or common communication and dissemination activities. Proposals should allocate the necessary resources to cover these activities.
In this topic, the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.
Successful proposals will contribute to the following outcomes:
- Increased evidence of the environmental benefits of minor crops;
- Farmers make use of a wider range of crops, and combination of crops;
- Minor crops are integrated in farming systems promoting their environmental benefits;
- Increased resilience and climate adaptation of farming systems vis-a-vis biotic and abiotic stresses;
- Feed and food industry make use of minor crops;
- Creation of new avenues for farmers and value chains through a wider range of products.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
The following additional eligibility criteria apply: The proposals must apply the multi-actor approach. See definition of the multi-actor approach in the introduction to the work programme part.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
This call follows a two-stage approach.
This topic is part of the blind evaluation pilot under which first stage proposals will be evaluated blindly. Applicants submitting a proposal under the blind evaluation pilot (see General Annex F) must not disclose their organisation names, acronyms, logos, nor names of personnel in Part B of their first stage application (see General Annex E).
The limit for a first-stage application is 10 pages. The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.