Believers of smart innovation for sustainable farming

The consortium

The Farms4Climate project is a multi-actor action carried out through a collaboration among the following partners.

The AIR Institute Foundation is a private non-profit research organisation. Its mission is the promotion and development of scientific research in the field of computer science. The areas of action of the AIR include Artificial Intelligence, Information and Communication Technologies, Industry 4.0, IoT, Bioinformatics, Smart Cities, Smart Farming, Social Computing and Blockchain. Through the work of a large team of computer scientists, technology developers and innovation managers, AIR coordinates the overall Farms4Climate project as well as WP5 (designing digital tools for farmers).

Esférico is a Spanish spin off, originated from Soluciones Agricolas Ecoinnovadoras SL, focused on the development of Measuring, Reporting and Verification tools (MRV) to assess the carbon footprint of farms. Its staff uses a combination of soil science, agronomy, remote sensing, artificial intelligence and life cycle assessment to understand and model multi-scale nutrient fluxes, and to map the effect of agricultural practices on ecosystem dynamics. In Farms4Climate, Esférico mainly contributes in the design of the carbon farming schemes (WP3) and the development of digital tools (WP5), while it coordinates WP6 (dissemination & exploitation).

Aland is a foundation representing farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs and researchers, with the objective of regenerating soils and rural landscapes through the development of sustainable business and social innovation. Aland is strongly linked to AlVelAl and Commonland, initiatives that build communities for landscape restoration projects, an activity that inspired the overall project. Within Farms4Climate, Aland will lead the Spanish living lab focused on the introduction of cover crops and organic fertilisation in semi-arid almond orchards.

DiCEM Department at the University of Basilicata is a multidisciplinary leading provider of high quality scientific agricultural research, with the aim of achieving improvements in rural economies that are financially, environmentally and socially sustainable. UNIBAS' activities also include the transfer of innovative technologies in collaboration with farmers' organisations and regional regulators (Basilicata region - ALSIA). Within the project, UNIBAS will be involved in the verification of carbon sequestration in fruit orchards in Italy and will lead the carbon farming advisory board for maximum smallholders climate impact.

Agreenment srl was born in 2013 as Academic Spin Off of University of Basilicata. Its major activities include environmentally-sustainable development, in particular in the field of energy and environmental consulting aimed at reducing emissions and impacts generated in the agricultural sector. It specialises in monitoring carbon- as well as water-footprint through a Life Cycle Assessment approach. AGM coordinates the living lab in Southern Italy and contributes to develop a robust methodology for carbon measuring and reporting.

The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is the largest Italian private academic institution. Its Department of Sustainable Crop Production (DIPROVES), the Field Crops Group and CITIMAP scarl. (a linked third party) manage experimental agricultural research fields, greenhouse facilities and laboratories for analysis of plant, soil, biomass and fertiliser samples, aiming at better understanding agroecological dynamics affecting soil organic matter and nutrients cycling in food/energy cropping systems. In Farms4Climate, UCSC will lead WP3 (designing MRV approaches), and contribute to develop digital tools for soil carbon management in WP5.

The Sekem Initiative is composed of a number of organisations, altogether working on the regeneration of human-nature relationships according to the Economy of Love's principles. This holding started reclaiming and cultivating new pieces of land according to Biodynamic principles in 1977 and is currently managing a total of 680 hectares in Egypt. In 2018 Sekem achieved greenhouse gas neutrality by increasing soil carbon and new tree plantations, and is currently generating Gold Standard Certified carbon offsets. In the Farms4Climate project Sekem coordinates one living lab in Egypt, and provides inspiration for all other partners on how to promote cultural regeneration in rural communities.

The International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements is a global umbrella organisation with more than 1,000 members in over 130 countries. Its regional body IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo, legally incorporated in Greece as a non-profit civil society organisation, has been leading, uniting and supporting the Organic Movement in the Mediterranean Region since 1990. Within the Farms4Climate project it will lead WP2 (living labs, purpose, eco-entrepreneurship, women and young farmers), focusing on training for entrepreneurial skills and connecting the consortium with its vast network of organic farming associations.

The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, is a non-profit research organisation member of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers - CGIAR. ICARDA's mandate is to provide innovative, science-based, and development-oriented solutions to improve the livelihoods and resilience of smallholders in non-tropical dry areas of the global south. ICARDA's research portfolio focuses on three broad research themes - Biodiversity and Integrated Gene Management, Integrated Water and Land Management, and Sustainable Intensification and Resilient Production Systems. Its role in Farm4Climate is to lead WP4 (field monitoring and modelling of regenerative practices) and to develop remote sensing technologies for smallholders.

SQLI Services is a French IT company based in Tunisia, with solid experience in the development of smart softwares, marketplaces, statistical observatories, traceability systems for supply chains, databases/forecast, blockchain, artificial intelligence applications, decision support dashboards, and mobile applications, meeting the needs of its clients in the Maghreb and Africa. Within the Farms4Climate project, SQLI is developing digital tools in support of the Tunisian living lab, leading the investigation on the application of cognitive engines for decision support systems for smallholders.

The National Institute of Research in Rural Water and Forest Engineering is a Tunisian public research institution focused on improving land management. Its four main lines of research are ecology and forest management, the valuation of forest products, rural engineering, and the valuation of conventional and unconventional water in agriculture. To carry out research activities in the field, it controls seven experimental stations located in different ecological regions of Tunisia. Its role in Farms4Climate is to coordinate the Tunisian living lab, validating the capacity of agroforestry systems to remove carbon, and to lead the cross-national comparison of farming practices.

The recently established Heliopolis University is the first non-profit university in Africa and the Middle East with Sustainable Development as its core guiding principle. It carries out international research, with projects on biodynamic agriculture, renewable energies, water, medicine and pharmacy. Its Faculty of Organic Agriculture investigates organic methods for preventing soil-borne diseases, and the Department of Water Engineering is responsible for researching solutions to Egypt's water scarcity. For the Farms4Climate project, HU's Carbon Footprint Centre is providing its experience to model, build and validate carbon certification schemes to help the consortium develop appropriate MRV and governance.