Development and optimization of halophyte-based farming systems in salt-affected Mediterranean soils – HaloFarMs
HaloFarMs will develop and optimize new sustainable farming systems for the Mediterranean region based on the smart use of halophyte plants to value degraded and unexploited salt-affected lands. These systems will ultimately cope with soil and water salinization. The project involves a multidisciplinary and intersectorial R&D team, including agronomists, biologists, engineers, chemists, environment experts, biotechnologists, veterinarians economists and social actors and stakeholders from Tunisia, Spain, Egypt, Portugal, France and Italy. HaloFarMs will optimize 1) desalination of saline soils by halophytes prior to crop cultivation, 2) intercropping halophytes on salt-affected soils, with important commercial cultivated crops, and 2) in vitro cultivation of halophytes. The produced halophytes will be biochemically characterized for nutritional profile and functional properties; these high added-value products can be used in the cosmetic, food and veterinary industries. HaloFarMs is particularly relevant to this call since it aims to leverage the challenges of the Mediterranean agriculture by offering Naure Based Solutions to stop the soil degradation or convert poorly valued lands, diversify the cultures with a set of traditional food crops, traditional cash crops and new high-value crops, and contribute to preserve biodiversity and natural resources in the Mediterranean area. The adoption by farmers of HaloFarMs findings, thanks to our NGO and governmental advisors partners, will decrease soil salinization, increase yields without depleting fresh water resources and diversify the sources of income. This will thus reduce environmental risk on farming ecosystems, increase the viability of farms and secure the incomes of workers in a socially and ecologically acceptable way.
Monsieur Karim Ben Hamed (Centre de Biotechnologie de Borj Cédria)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
UNIPI Pisa University
CBBC Centre de Biotechnologie de Borj Cédria
INRAE-IHAP IHAP (Interactions hôtes-agents pathogènes) - UMR 1225 INRAE/ENVT
CCMAR Centre of Marine Sciences of the Algarve
DRC Desert Research Center
GÉOARCHI - UBO Laboratoire de Géoarchitecture_Territoires, Urbanisation, Biodiversité, Environnement
CERTE Centre de Recherches et Technologie des Eaux
CSIC Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
Help of the ANR 238,153 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2020 - 36 Months