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Sustainable water use securing food production in dry areas of the Mediterranean region (SWUP-MED)
Start date: 01 Jul 2008, End date: 30 Jun 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The strategic objective of the project is to improve food crop production in the Mediterranean region, influenced by multiple abiotic stresses. These stresses are becoming even more pronounced under changing climate, predicted to result in drier conditions, increasing temperatures, and greater variability, causing desertification. The project will work mainly in farmers’ communities to improve farming systems, by strengthening a diversified crop rotation and using marginal-quality water for supplemental irrigation, aiming at: • Introduce and test new climate-proof crops and cultivars with improved stress tolerance, selecting promising varieties of cereals, grain legumes and new crops. Climate-proof traits will be identified for breeding programmes using advanced physiological and biochemical screening tools. Supplemental irrigation will be performed as deficit irrigation by different sources of water. • Investigate the sustainable field applicability of the farming systems, such as environmental effects related to irrigation water quality assessed by monitoring groundwater and soil quality. Financial implications for the farmer and economic costs and benefits in the food sector will be analysed. • Develop a research synthesis in dialogue with food sector, based on experimental results and advanced simulation modelling to improve farming systems management, utilizing dynamic tools that ease adaptation to the effects of a variable and changing climate. The approach is participatory, involving the farmer’s community and the market and political level. The expected outcome is improved productivity and sustainable use of agricultural lands by developing a more diverse farming system, supporting economic development in non-European Mediterranean countries while ensuring mutual interest and benefit with the EU. It will accelerate adoption of improved agricultural practices and technologies to meet future constraints imposed by climate changes."
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