On November 14-15, 2022, SusCrop convened an expert workshop on protein crops in Brussels (Belgium). The workshop aimed to scope future research needs concerning protein crops, primarily for food but also including feed. The term protein crops was used in a large sense, referring to proteins coming from plants (but not algae) and therefore including e.g. grasses.
The focus was on production (crop improvement and cultivation), but taking into account the value chain.
The workshop identified the following gaps that need to be addressed in the coming years:
- crop improvement (to balance crop management and processing);
- niche crops – in this workshop protein crops - (to balance staple crops);
- nutritional security (to complement yield);
- resistance/tolerance to combined abiotic and biotic stresses (to balance in depth work on abiotic, biotic stress resistance);
- research infrastructure;
- policy: legislation (enable the use of NGTs in Europe), public procurement (for niche crops – in this workshop protein crops);
The workshop also highlighted several research priorities, at farm - value chain and policy level, from the perspective of the participating experts. More details can be found in the full report (link to pdf below).
An additional workshop, planned in 2023, will open up the consultation to stakeholders.
The outcomes of the workshop are expected to give rise to a white paper and will also feed into, among others, the FACCE-JPI Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and be available as advice to Member States (SCAR) and to the European Commission (DGs RTD and AGRI).