The Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, Romain Schneider, and the Secretary-General of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), Marc Schiltz, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday 3 June 2021 to launch a first joint call for research projects: "Sustainable and resilient agriculture and food systems".
The evolution towards sustainable and resilient agriculture and food systems is indeed a priority of the governmental programme. While COVID-19 has shown the importance of modern and local agriculture, efforts to protect the environment, biodiversity and climate are all the more necessary.
To achieve these goals, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Luxembourg National Research Fund have decided to join forces to support policy development and decision-making in these areas.
"The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is also part of the recovery plan for agriculture, which is based on three pillars: consolidation - promotion - innovation," added Minister Romain Schneider, specifying that innovation and scientific research constitute a significant lever to enable the agricultural sector to face these challenges with the appropriate means and technologies.
The objective is to develop innovative, resilient and sustainable agricultural practices and systems adapted to the specificities of the Luxembourg agricultural sector.
This first joint call for projects thus contributes to supporting applied multidisciplinary research in these three areas:
- the adaptation of Luxembourg agriculture to climate change
- adaptation of local agricultural practices to mitigate the impact on water resources
- adaptation of local agricultural practices to mitigate the impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services in agro-ecosystems.
In this context, the Secretary-General of the FNR specifies that cross-border collaborations are strongly encouraged to allow high-level research consortia with complementary expertise to develop and exchange knowledge.
With a total budget of €2,000,000, the call for projects will be launched on 15 June 2021, and the relevant information will be published on the website: www.fnr.lu
This substantial financial package demonstrates the importance of the collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and the FNR.
The Minister of Agriculture also emphasises that this innovative approach is also part of the "Landwirtschaft +" approach for economic, social and ecological strengthening of the agricultural sector.
Romain Schneider and Marc Schiltz underline that this collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and the FNR is a milestone that will enable the agricultural sector to move towards sustainable and resilient food systems while strengthening its position in the supply chain from farm to fork.
Press release by the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development and the National Research Fund