The second phase of the PEI RESILIENT CEREALS project has been underway since 2019, in which the Operational Group consolidated during the first part of the project is carrying out all the planning activities foreseen by the Strategic Plan through the entire supply chain. The protagonists are the local networks of farmers who contribute to the reproduction of seeds, managing their correct evolution over time, and to their dissemination, with the technical and scientific support of the project partners. The project aims to achieve economic objectives:
- To produce cereal material selected for its adaptability and evaluated for its technological and nutritional characteristics in order to develop local production chains.
- To increase the production potential of cereals for organic and low-input farming in order to guarantee a higher income for farmers who will be motivated to put back into production lands that have been abandoned for years and to reduce marginal agricultural areas;
- To create a network between different scientific, economic and social realities in order to provide technical assistance and genetic material to farmers in local production chains, to promote cultural aspects linked to processing and consumer awareness of foods with special nutraceutical characteristics.
- to Improve pest management and control and contain pathogenic adversities through seeds from populations adapted for organic and low-input farming;
- to maintain soil fertility by fostering a good structural state of the soil, with appropriate programming of rotations
- reducing (in the long run) the accumulation of pollutants in soil and water and promote carbon sequestration through more efficient organic and low-input farming systems
Improving the planning capacity of supply chains, thus reducing under-use of machinery
A further reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere through the promotion of 0 km cereal supply chains c
From an operational point of view, this means:
- increasing crop diversity on farms and promoting CCP (Composite Cross Population) evolution and adaptation in different growing environments;
- developing the integrated seed production system of SOLIBAM TENERO FLORIDDIA, analysing the socio-economic aspects of an innovative seed system;
- enabling farmers to select and maintain their own CCPs in order to achieve stability of production yield, decrease production cost and increase farm income;
- improving food quality by testing products derived from CCPs where competition between genotypes and reduced nitrogen favour the increase of secondary metabolites (nutraceutical substances);
- increasing soil fertility with environmentally sustainable cultivation practices to improve soil structure and reduce energy inputs that increase CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
RSR takes care of project coordination and monitoring activities by organising coordination meetings and internal animation, so that all partners can effectively cooperate and strengthen local networks. Our contribution to the project also includes the publication of information material and the organisation of public presentations, company visits and thematic meetings. Finally, we maintain relations with policymakers such as MiPAAF and CREA DC to update them on activities and results. Among the other partners, the University of Pisa deals with the economic sustainability of the innovation, including applying for seed authorisation and identifying the implications of seed management by farmers with an open source licence to ensure the widest possible access to potential users. The University of Florence, on the other hand, is engaged in the contextualisation in the different environments of Tuscany, and in particular on the aspects of the maintenance of the primary source of the SOLIBAM Floriddia population, the secondary adaptation at the 4 mother farms and the climatic analysis for the definition of the adaptation environments The project also includes the study of the quality of the flours and products: on the one hand, the evaluation of the rheological properties of flours and mycotoxins (at UNIFI laboratories); on the other hand, milling tests at Floriddia and Angeli mills, and bread, cracker, biscuit production tests evaluated by panel tests.