BMEL

Service

Protein Crop Strategy

The protein crop strategy of the BMEL is aimed at reducing competitive disadvantages of domestic protein crops (leguminosae such as broad beans, field peas and lupin species, as well as clover species, alfalfa and vetch), closing research gaps and testing and implementing the necessary measures in practice – while taking the international framework conditions into account.

The protein crop strategy of the BMEL is aimed at reducing competitive disadvantages of domestic protein crops (leguminosae such as broad beans, field peas and lupin species, as well as clover species, alfalfa and vetch), closing research gaps and testing and implementing the necessary measures in practice – while taking the international framework conditions into account.

The most distinctive characteristic of leguminosae (the botanical name for pulses) is that their roots form nodules, i.e. they establish a symbiotic relationship with bacteria (rhizobia). These bacteria have the ability to take nitrogen out of the air and make it usable for the leguminosae to form proteins or for succeeding crops as plant nutrient.

The protein crop strategy mainly pursues the following objectives:

  • improving ecosystem services and resource conservation (improving environmental protection and climate change mitigation, improving biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, reducing mineral nitrogen fertilisation, improving soil fertility),
  • strengthening regional value chains,
  • increasing the protein supply from domestic products and improving the protein supply through protein carriers that have not been genetically modified (the cultivation of genetically modified leguminosae varieties is not permitted in Germany).

A set of appropriate measures shall encourage farmers to also cultivate and use leguminosae in addition to cereals and oilseeds. In 2012 already, the aim was to implement more favourable framework conditions for the cultivation of leguminosae in the Common Agricultural Policy. Additional European and national instruments, such as the provision of support funds, are being used, e.g. to promote suitable research projects.

Promotion of research and development projects

Based on a resolution adopted by the Bundestag, support funds have been provided to finance research and development projects under the protein crop strategy. As a result, three million Euros were provided for 2014, four million Euros each for the years from 2015 to 2017 and two million Euros for 2018.

The research and development projects are aimed at promoting the cultivation and use of leguminosae on the basis of available research results. To this end, model demonstration networks will be established to improve extension services and knowledge transfer. This will be accompanied by research and development projects initiated to improve existing methods, generate innovation and, above all, promote the breeding of high-yield varieties. In addition, the organisation and coordination of a Forum on Sustainable Protein Feed will be supported. This forum will be aimed at establishing and implementing a dialogue platform and the related communication processes with key stakeholders and at discussing the possibilities and objectives of using sustainably produced protein feed.

International Year of Pulses 2016

The International Year of Pulses (IYP) 2016 was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2013.

The IYP aims to heighten public awareness of the benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production. Celebrating the International Year of Pulses 2016 is a unique opportunity to further global production of pulses, better utilize crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses. Other aims are to better utilize pulse-based proteins at global level, e.g. by promoting the value and utilization of pulses throughout the food system. The resolution emphasises that pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and that they are also an important source of plant-based protein for animals.
http://www.fao.org/pulses-2016/en/.

Environmental impact of leguminosae

Increasing the quantity of leguminosae grown makes an important contribution to the protection and conservation and to the sustainable use of the biological and genetic diversity and to the diversity of the agricultural ecosystems. Reducing the use of mineral nitrogen fertilisers can also contribute to reducing the CO2 emissions arising from the production of these fertilisers.

Increased cultivation of leguminosae extends the range of crop species and breaks up strict crop rotations. This can reduce the occurrence of harmful organisms and improve the efficiency of weed control measures through alternations between first season and secondary season crops and between leaf and cereal crops. Extended crop rotations contribute to integrated plant protection and a reduced risk of resistance formation to pesticide substances. This can result in a reduced application of plant protection products and, consequently, lower their negative impact on biological diversity. In addition, flowering leguminosae offer an excellent food resource for nectar-collecting, pollinating insects.

An extension of the range of crop species is therefore suitable to increase the overall agrobiodiversity, i.e. species diversity, genetic diversity and the diversity of the ecosystems in agricultural landscapes, and to contribute to climate change mitigation.

As of:
16.06.16

Further information

Tradition – Innovation – a Devotion to Detail
Dokumenttyp
Video

Startbild Agrarexport

Germany is the world’s third largest exporter of agricultural goods. German products are popular and in demand. The film on "Quality made in Germany" shows why. In approximately three minutes, the film shows the wide range of products offered by the German agri-food industry – in the fields of seed and planting stock, animal genetics, agricultural machinery, raw materials (cultivation and production), and semi-finished and finished products.

Germany stands for a modern, productive and at the same time sustainable agri-food industry. The film shows how the industry meets the high quality standards that apply in all sectors. These quality standards guarantee that all exports are of top quality.

show video: Tradition – Innovation – a Devotion to Detail …

"Understanding Farming"
Dokumenttyp
Video

Screenshot of the film „Understanding Farming“

Germany, the land of engineering ingenuity and industry, has at the same time always remained a country with a strong agricultural sector. Despite a high population density, half of the land in Germany is farmed. Around one million people, working in approximately 285,000 agricultural enterprises, produce more than 50 billion Euros’ worth of goods a year.

show video: "Understanding Farming" …

Publications

Press

navigation

© Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture