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FFL-JA-Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri

Increased and market-adapted production of grain legumes in Norway to increase self-sufficiency of proteins for food and feed

Alternative title: Økt og markedstilpasset produksjon av norske proteinvekster for å øke selvforsyningsgraden av planteprotein til mat og fôr

Awarded: NOK 3.1 mill.

The project idea is based on the documented potential to increase domestic production of grain legumes to respond to the increasing market opportunities for plant protein commodities for both food and feed. The grain legumes peas and faba bean are the most promising protein crops for Norway, but they show yield instability and are more challenging to grow compared to cereal productions. Faba bean is attractive due to high protein content and yield potential but maturates late in the season in Norway. Earlier varieties are available, but they are yet not optimally adapted to the Norwegian conditions. This project aims to develop knowledge and materials that lays the step-stones for Norwegian plant breeding activities on grain legumes, as well as to solve important agronomic challenges through improved management practices. The project shall develop improved strategies to for plant establishment and canopy build-up, integrated pest management and harvesting strategies that are important to improve both yield and quality. Moreover, large number of varieties and genotypes will be tested in field trials, and new breeding populations will be developed which will represent the start of plant breeding on grain legumes in Norway. Special focus will be put on quality traits and strategies through management and the choice of varieties to meet quality requirements for food and feed, including those for modern processing technologies. The project shall establish the Norwegian Protein Crop Forum to enable knowledge transfer within the entire supply chain, and to promote production and utilization of grain legumes in Norway. The project shall contribute to an efficient and marked adapted primary production of grain legumes important for value creating both for farmers and the subsequent steps in food chain.

The project idea is based on the documented potential to increase domestic production of peas and faba bean to respond to the increasing market opportunities for plant protein commodities that are environmentally sound and healthy. This project aims to provide necessary knowledge, materials and tools for 1) future efficient breeding of grain legumes adapted to Norwegian conditions, and 2) solutions to main cultivation challenges to increase the production of grain legumes in Norway with good quality for food and feed. Moreover, further development of grain legume production will be important in a long-term and sustainable development of Norwegian agriculture, where optimal exploitation of the agricultural areas suitable for arable crops is urgent. The project takes a broad approach by including both management solutions to agronomic challenges based on varieties already available, and competence building to initiating breeding activities in Norway that will give progress in the long term. Both are urgent to successfully expand production of grain legumes in Norway. The project shall develop improved strategies for plant establishment, integrated pest management and harvesting that are important to improve both yield and quality. Core collections and breeding populations will be developed that are suited for Norwegian conditions to investigate genetic variability of important plant traits, and identify breeding goals and improved genotypes. Special focus will be put on quality traits and strategies through management and the choice of varieties to meet quality requirements for food and feed, including those for modern processing technologies. The project shall establish the Norwegian Protein Crop Forum to enable knowledge transfer within the entire supply chain, and to promote production and utilization of grain legumes in Norway.

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Funding scheme:

FFL-JA-Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri