Use and management of Vicia species for sustainability and resilience in biodiversity-based farming systems
DiVicia: a PRIMA project to revalorize faba bean and vetches in Mediterranean agriculture.
DiVicia aims to exploit the particular properties of legumes (Fabaceae) such as the symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) to design added value sustainable and resilient cereal cropping systems (CCSs) based on biodiversity, and adapted to the current and future constraints of the Mediterranean Basin. It promotes the ecological intensification of production systems through the exploitation of crops and soil ecological functions, and of functional biodiversity.
Using the contrasting crops faba bean (Vicia faba) and vetch (V. sativa) as study cases (faba bean for N-rich grains and vetch for forage), DiVicia aims at restoring agrodiversity, through the identification of a variety of promising landraces and stress resistant genotypes to implement best crop diversification practices in Mediterranean cereal systems (rotation, inter-, mix-cropping). DiVicia will mitigate, through a participatory process, the downward spiral of soil fertility decline and food insecurity, with a major impact on improving the livelihoods of the rural populations.