Landscape along the banks of the  DORDOGNE  river. © INRA, MAITRE Christophe

Agroecology: a top priority for INRA

In its 2010-2020 orientation document, INRA ranked agroecology among its top two research priorities. The Institute is committed to carrying out studies that are not only in step with but indeed anticipate the changing face of agriculture, with a view to achieving sustainable food and nutritional security for the 21st century. On 25 February at the annual Agricultural Salon held in Paris, INRA outlined its future plans in agroecology and gave an update of projects already underway based on a report on the subject as well as a series of conferences held in 2012.

By INRA News Office, translated by Inge Laino
Updated on 10/15/2013
Published on 02/25/2013
Keywords: agroecology

Research in agroecology aims to ensure that agriculture and environment are in synch, in a constantly changing context characterised by mounting physical, biological and economic concerns including climate change, new pests and volatile prices in energy and agricultural markets (input and products).
 
INRA has identified five research priorities that include improving our understanding of the biological interactions between plants, animals and microorganisms within agrosystems, and designing the agricultural systems of tomorrow. The scope of analysis must be broadened to include the ecological regulations that occur between cultivated and non-cultivated areas to ensure that ecosystem services are implemented accordingly (e.g. water purification, underground carbon sequestration, pollination and pest control) and soil and water resources preserved.

INRA is poised to take on these challenges thanks to a wide range of expertise covering many disciplines, a strong presence within France, active involvement in experiments and observatories, and a commitment to forging partnerships and maintaining its presence on the international stage. Examples of research results include:
- The role of fungal decomposers in regulating the nutrient bank and organic content of soil;
- Best resistance of mixed forests and varietal combinations of grains to certain pests;
- Importance of mosaic landscapes for water quality and plant life;
- Innovations in agroecology, driving forces and obstacles.

The proposals presented in the report fall into eight categories: research, experiments/observation, modelling, events, skills management, training, partnerships/innovation and international development. They are ranked in order of importance and first steps are outlined in INRA’s 2012-2016 contractual goals, including in particular several scientific conferences scheduled for 2013 and preparations for an international conference in 2014.  

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Author(s):
INRA News Office, translated by Inge Laino
Scientific contact(s):

Press Relations:
INRA News Office (33 (0)1 42 75 91 86 or 33 (0)6 89 33 80 11)
INRA Report - Agro-Ecology Research Initiative - Sept 2012. © INRA

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Agroecology Research Initiative

Agroecology Research Initiative