Period of Implementation

Jun 1, 2021 - May 31, 2024
Total Budget

EUR 1,398,127.50



ReCROP aims at fostering the sustainability and resilience of agricultural production systems in the Mediterranean region through the combined use of biotechnological tools, such as bioinoculants (mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth-promoting bacteria), and environmentally friendly agronomic practices, including plant intercropping and crop rotation, application of amendments, as well as the use of local adapted and/or tolerant varieties. It further intends to characterize from a socioeconomic perspective the main drivers to encourage farmers to switch towards greener practices and promote their acceptability and foster innovative sustainable solutions for ecological farming systems involving the views of local stakeholders. Regarding the economic perspective, different tools will be proposed to allow conventional farmers to switch towards greener practices without compromising economic revenues and profit, through monetary means/subsidies and non-monetary means.


With this integrated strategy ReCROP targets the (i) improvement of soil physicochemical and biological properties; (2) boost of crop productivity; (3) reduction of agrochemicals inputs, preventing runoff and groundwater contamination; (4) amelioration of water conservation. This multilateral cooperation will provide evidence regarding best practices to overcome some of the most serious threats for agricultural Mediterranean systems.

Problems and Needs Analysis

Agricultural productivity and sustainability in Mediterranean region are under serious threat due to climate change, soil degradation, and depletion of water resources. This scenario is worsened by poor management practices, including the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, overgrazing, and monoculture farming. Intensive agricultural systems have a major impact on the loss of organic matter and biodiversity in farmlands, while favoring erosion, compaction, and contamination of soil. To ensure a sustainable crop production for a growing population, it is vital that the design of agricultural systems is remodelled, favoring a conservation agriculture. Preserving and improving the quality and fertility of agricultural lands, using greener tools such as the application of tailored bioinoculants, amendments, and cropping schemes will allow farming systems to withstand extreme climatic events while increasing crops' resilience to soil degradation by improving below and aboveground biodiversity, fertility, and water conservation.

Impact Pathway

ReCROP will impact Mediterranean farming systems by increasing the resilience of economically valuable crops to climate change and soil deterioration. The improvement of soil physicochemical and biological characteristics resulting from the combined application of microbial inoculants and sustainable farming practices will contribute for reducing the application of chemical fertilizers and promoting soil biodiversity and health. ReCROP will also benefit water conservation in the agricultural systems and alleviate the adverse impact of drought on crop yield. Overall, ReCROP will favour soil health, which reflects the capacity of soil to respond to agricultural intervention, so that it continues to support both agricultural production and the provision of other ecosystem services in a sustainable way. ReCROP will also provide useful insights on environmental smart policy instruments, regarding food security/safety, environmental and human health protection, facilitating the implementation of scientifically based, cost-effective actions. It will further provide farmers with evidence sustaining that a well-managed agro-ecosystem leads to increased sustainability of the farming system, and with guidelines and tools for its implementation in other cultures and geographical areas.

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