Institute Research Research projects
VALERECO - Valorization Legumes Related Ecosystem Services

VALERECO - Valorization Legumes Related Ecosystem Services

Led by:  Prof. Dr. Ann-Kathrin Koessler
Team:  Anna-Lena Vollheyde, Prof. Dr. Christina von Haaren
Year:  2028
Funding:  EU Horizon
Duration:  1.06.2024 – 31.05.2028
Further information


Incorporating legumes into diverse farming systems and crop rotations can address issues related to agro-biodiversity, soil fertility, climate change mitigation, and market opportunities for farmers. Globally, legume symbiotic nitrogen fixation accounts for only 13% of fertilization on arable land. Despite their significant benefits to soil health, nutrient cycling, pest control, and reduced fertilizer use, these contributions are often underestimated, leading to underinvestment in legume-based systems. This oversight results in missed opportunities for sustainable agriculture. Many farmers lack awareness, knowledge, or resources to effectively integrate legumes into their cropping systems.


Against this background, VALERECO aims to promote the adoption and understanding the value of legume crops towards transition to sustainable, productive, climate-neutral, environment-friendly and resilient farming systems. The project aims to quantify and enhance the environmental and

economic value of ecosystem services provided by legume crops. It seeks to encourage diversification of farming practices throughout the EU and Associated Countries, which can contribute to healthier and sustainable diets and climate change resilience. VALERECO targets three main areas: 1) the identification of the ecosystem-services legacy and gateways for penetration of legumes and their associated ecosystem services to the new CAP; 2) the valorization of legumes and their services; and 3) the dissemination of the value of legumes.

IUP involvement:

The two IUP working groups Environmental Behaviour and Planning and Landscape Planning and Nature Conservation jointly work together within VALERECO. They lead the work package "Development of tools and networks for the exploitation of legumes in agroecologically-based farming systems", in which a central component is the development of a decision support system for biodiversity and environmentally friendly legume systems. Furthermore, the IUP leads tasks on perceptions and knowledge systems of legumes along the value chain and behavioural design strategies to promote the adoption of legumes.

Overall project coordination:
Ilias Travlos, Agricultural University Athens, GR

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