Bioeconomy: Plant breeders and farmers stand at the beginning of the value added chain
From 14th to 16th of June 2016 the DLG-Feldtage take place at Gut Mariaburghausen in Hassfurt, Bavaria. The Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) is partner of this event and presents the main topic “Bioeconomy – agriculture as raw material producer”. Various crops, products and special harvest equipment show many possibilities of energetic and material use for renewable resources.
On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) FNR coordinates research, development and demonstration projects in the field of renewable resources. In this framework FNR promotes also plant breeding projects regards bioeconomy.
The concept Bioeconomy, biobased economy or green economy described future-oriented sustainable economic activities based on advanced processes (biotechnology) and the usage of biological and renewable resources, mostly without fossil fuels. Farmers (and foresters) are the most important raw material supplier of the bioeconomy. At the FNR exhibition area VG42 various suitable plants are shown for bioeconomy today and tomorrow. These are medical plants, oilseed rape, triticale, maize, flax and sugar beets. Info panels and product examples show the wide range of non-food possibilities. Due to the Feldtage-location medical plants are of special interest. Cultivation of herbs has a long tradition in the Franconia region, for example in Schwebheim community or in the Steigerwald. To grow successfully medical plants special knowledge and high initial investments are necessary.
Harvesting for bioeconomy As a good example of special equipment FNR shows a harvester for valerian roots. This is the first single-phase and fully mechanized harvester and is developed from the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL). The harvester was one result of the research project to improve profitability of domestic medical plant cultivation (KAMEL), funded by BMEL/ FNR. Foundation of the harvester is a potatoe harvester and technically skilled people should be able to rebuild this at relatively low costs. A construction manual of LfL is available hier.
Plant breeding for bioeconomy To promote plant breeding activities FNR published on behalf of BMEL within the framework of the R&D Funding programme for Renewable Resources the priority “Plant breeding to improve yield and quality of agricultural raw materials”. Besides this funding priority FNR is furthermore looking for project proposals regards breeding improvement of non-food plants. Together with wood and aquatic resources they are the main raw material source for the bioeconomy. Information about the funding priority and the application process are available at http://www.fnr.de/projektfoerderung/.
FNR expert forums at DLG-Feldtage “Bioeconomy – agriculture as raw material provider”, 14 June from 12.30 to 13.30 “(E)Mission oilseed rape cultivation – reducing greenhousegas emissions by adjusting nitrogen fertilizing” 15 June from 13.30 to 14.30 “Two Americans adapts themselves – potatoes and maize in focus of breeding for drought tolerance and coupled use”, 16 June from 10.30 to 11.30
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