Enabling sustainable farming

Enabling sustainable farming systems provides a number of economic, environmental and social benefits and is a prerequisite for food and nutrition security

For farmers, who are the backbone of food systems and immediate managers of natural resources, the European Green Deal sets ambitious targets to achieve with respect to improving the sustainability of feed and food production. These targets are included in the main European Green Deal policy initiatives, in particular in the Farm to Fork Strategy, Biodiversity Strategy, Zero Pollution and Climate Action.

R&I will be key enablers for the progress required to achieve these challenging targets:

  • It will speed up the transition to sustainable and competitive agriculture by unlocking the potential of agroecology, including improving organic farming, increasing EU-grown plant proteins and advancing digital and data technologies as enablers.
  • It will support farmers in managing land, soil, water and nutrients in sustainable ways. New knowledge and innovative solutions will improve plant and animal health and welfare, prevent inter-species disease transmission through food production and trade system, as well as reduce the dependency of farmers on the use of pesticides and antimicrobials.
  • Thanks to R&I, farming systems will maximise the use of the wide range of ecosystem services and contribute to reversing the loss of biodiversity while creating a resilient primary production. Farmers will be better equipped to significantly contribute to climate neutrality and their resilience to climate change will be enhanced.
  • R&I will support development of policy, in particular Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), business models and market conditions enabling transition to sustainable farming systems. Effective Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) will speed up innovation and the uptake of the R&I results from farm to fork.

As a result, farmers will be able to transform their production methods and move to climate- and environmentally-friendly and resilient farming systems that generate fair economic returns for them and provide consumers with affordable, safe, healthy and sustainable food.