Conservation Agriculture and its results within the Life Program framework presented in the European Parliament

Conservation Agriculture and its role in improving productivity and increasing ecosystem services was discussed on the 7th November at a public hearing held in the European Parliament.

The event, organized by the Committee of Agriculture and Rural Development, aimed to expose and discuss the contribution of Conservation Agriculture to the development of a sustainable agricultural sector in the European Union. It also explained that principles of conservation practices, such as the reduction in tillage, the presence of a permanent vegetation cover and the diversification of crops, have been increasingly accepted as fundamental elements to improve soil conditions and increase ecosystem services allowing to increase crop productivity by optimizing the use of inputs.

In this Audience, the European Conservation Agriculture Federation was represented, which is a member entity of the LIFE + Climagri project consortium, by Paula Triviño, who, with the presentation "Principles of Conservation Agriculture: Making sustainable agriculture a reality", exposed the environmental problem caused by the management system based on tillage and explained that Conservation Agriculture can solve this problem and be more economically effective. To confirm these statements, P. Triviño showed the audience results achieved within the framework of last LIFE projects in which ECAF has participated, such as LIFE + Agricarbon and LIFE + Climagri. Undoubtedly, the added value that the LIFE program brings to the results that were exposed, is that they deal with data which correspond to experiences at the demonstration level, with real farms in which Conservation Agriculture management practices are being carried out. That means that the representativeness of mentioned results is not only applicable at the experimental level.

Afterwards, Julia Cooper, from the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development of the University of Newcastle (England), gave an overview of the current state of Conservation Agriculture in Europe, highlighting the benefits that its application can have on the soil and crops productivity.

After these two presentations, the attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and intervene, so they began a debate on the contents of the Public Hearing.