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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal UB AgroSup CNRS



Agricultural research in the Mediterranean Area (Arimnet 2011) 2012,

Resilient, water- and Energy-efficient FORage and feed crops for Mediterranean Agricultural systems

Crop-livestock and feed systems have huge importance for Mediterranean regions to satisfy the increasing population demand for animal products (milk, eggs, meat), to increase the economic stability of smallholders and to produce typical animal products with high added-value, while contributing in all cases to sustainable farming, environment protection and efficient nutrient cycling. These systems are threatened, however, 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. The development of resilient, water- and energy-efficient forage and feed legume crops could definitely alleviate all of these constraints. This is the objective of the present project, which joins nine research institutions from Italy, France, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and USA in a closely integrated manner to develop: 1) lucerne varieties with greater tolerance to severe drought, salinity, heat and grazing than the available varieties; 2) pea varieties with greater drought tolerance than the available varieties, targeted to grain and forage production; 3) cost-efficient marker-assisted selection procedures for pea drought tolerance and for lucerne tolerance to severe drought, salinity and grazing, forage quality and compatibility with grass companions (whose implementation by each partner will be favored by a molecular breeding training workshop); 4) ecological breeding strategies for lucerne and pea; 5) optimal lucerne-based and pea-based forage crops in relation to legume plant types, associated grass or cereal species, extent of drought stress, acceptability by farmers in a participatory assessment, and target forage quality and utilization. Optimal diets including innovative forage crops or pea grain will be defined for different animal species and production levels in a final workshop and promoted, along with optimal cultivation methods, in a freely-available electronic handbook. This and other dissemination actions will spread the project results among farmers and other stakeholders.


CRA Centro di Ricerca per le Produzioni Foraggere e Lattiero-Casearie - Italie
 ENSA Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique - Algérie
 IRA Institut des Régions Arides - Tunisie
 INRA Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - Maroc
 INRA Institut National de Recherche Agronomique - Algérie
 CNR Istituto per il Sistema Produzione Animale in Ambiente Mediterraneo - Italie
 SRNF The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation - Etats-Unis
 INRA UMR1347 Agroécologie

ANR grant: 125 000 euros
 Beginning and duration: septembre 2012 - 36 mois


ANR Programme: Agricultural research in the Mediterranean Area (Arimnet 2011) 2012

Project ID: ANR-12-AGRI-0006

Project coordinator:
Bernadette JULIER (UR4 URP3F)