CHANGE-UP - Innovative agro-ecological APProaches to achieving resilience to climate CHANGE in Mediterranean countries

About Us

The overall objective of the CHANGE-UP project is to re-design innovative farming systems for the Mediterranean area more resilient to climate change and able to face and overcome adverse and unpredictable events while ensuring food security and sustainable farmers’ income. The capacity of crops to counteract climatic perturbations and to adapt to the changing conditions in the Mediterranean area is needed to ensure production stability over time, as well as the nutritional quality of the agricultural products. At the same time crops and farming systems should allow a more sustainable and efficient use of natural resources thus preserving the agroecosystems integrity. To this aim, CHANGE-UP will test a technological strategy based on the integration of Evolutionary Populations of cereals (EPs – barley, common wheat, durum wheat, triticale) under crop rotation with a range of leguminous plants and of New Perennial Grains (NPGs, perennial wheat lines). NPGs are new species obtained by hybridization and/or domestication holding great potential in ameliorating soil physical-chemical properties, biodiversity and food web composition. The longer growing season of NPGs, their more extensive root systems, and the permanent soil cover, make them more competitive against weeds and more effective at capturing nutrients and water. In addition, they protect soil against erosion and increase soil C storage. Cereal EPs possess a high degree of within crop genetic diversity (heterogeneity), thus holding an inherent higher buffering capacity than homogeneous varieties to adapt to various abiotic and biotic stresses. EPs are able to produce good and stable yields even when the availability of resources decreases or when climatic conditions become extreme.

For more information please visit full project website

Period of Implementations

Jun 1, 2021 - May 31, 2024

Total Budget

EUR 1.061.944,00



CHANGE-UP will test solutions for an effective and environmentally sustainable type of agriculture able to mitigate climate change effects and to promote the conservation of natural resources also providing ecosystem services, while ensuring an economic stability of the farmers and food security in the region.


The project specific objectives are: 1) To comparatively assess the benefits of integrating such innovative cropping systems through the assessment of: i) their agronomic performance in relevant Mediterranean vulnerable environments; ii) safety and quality of the agricultural commodities produced; iii) economic and social benefits for farmers and consumers; iv) environmental impacts; 2) To share knowledge among stakeholders and facilitate collective decisions through participatory processes, in particular: i) improving the knowledge on the technical and organizational dynamics of Mediterranean production systems; ii) developing knowledge-based guidelines useful for policy decisions in terms of local governance and to overcome technical barriers to the adoption of the proposed innovations by farmers.

Impact Pathway

The farming system adopted will limit yield losses due to climate extremes and diseases, and secure farmers’ income since EPs have the capability of continuously adapting to the conditions under which they are grown while NPGs guarantee soil restoration, grains and forage for animals on degraded soils, promoting the ecological and economic rehabilitation of agricultural land. The project will assess and increase the economic and social sustainability of farming activity by identifying drivers and gaps and taking actions for improvements with focus on local specificities and readiness of transferability. At least 200 farmers (with the target of 50% women farmers) will participate at different levels, directly in the experimental work by either hosting the field trials or evaluating the field trials, workshops and T-groups, or by dissemination activities (field visits, events). The project will quantify the mean increased incomes and satisfaction of the farmers due to cereal yield stability and increase (5-10%), together with the reduced use of agrochemicals (at least 50%) achieved thanks to rotation practices, crop diversification (legumes), EPs and NPGs adoption. Women and men farmers hosting the field trials will have the capacity and receive the necessary support, to access, maintain and increase their income from the use of EPs that increase production while at the same time maintaining yield stability and ecosystem resilience under changing climate conditions. Farmers will be left with seeds and practices so that they can continue to use them well beyond the project duration. They will be the testimonials for further extension of the approach towards a more farmer centered seed and food production system where local farmers and small business enterprises engage in local value chains to produce and sell high quality foods.


There is no resources

News & Events