Grazing4Agroecology: a new pan-European initiative aiming to reverse grazing decline in Europe
Please take a moment and look at the photos below portraying the European semi-natural meadows and pastures. While some people are familiar with such places for leisure activities, especially for the natural beauty of these agroecosystems, for others, they represent the everyday activities of farming and livestock management. These valuable ecosystems were created over time through the hard work of farmers who traditionally used grazing as the primary natural feeding system for their ruminants.
Grazing4Agroecology (G4AE) is an EU funded project that will support farmers in the implementation of grazing-based systems, for the benefit of the environment, animals and society. This will result in a healthier food production system and reduce the impact on natural resources. G4AE will also target the EU Green Deal objectives concerning biodiversity restoration, and reduction of nutrient losses and GHG emissions.
“We see that grazing-based systems are rapidly disappearing in Europe. To reverse such negative trends requires a systemic change that must be supported by consumers devoted to the grazing societal values. Our team is well balanced and incredibly motivated to cope with such important challenges,” Dr. Arno Krause, Project Coordinator
Coordinated by the Grünlandzentrum, Germany, G4AE will run for three and a half years (September 2022- March 2026). The consortium comprises 18 partners from eight EU Member States (France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania & Sweden) to represent different pedo-climatic conditions in Europe and a wide range of grazing practices. The network is based on a multiactor approach having in the center representative farmers and farmers groups working together with basic and applied research, advisory and industry.
The project in Ireland is led by Dr. Deirdre Hennessy, Dr. Michael O’Donovan and Dr. Caitlin Looney from the Teagasc Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, County Cork. Dr. Pat Cashman, GoldCrop, is also a partner in the project.
“Teagasc are delighted to be involved in G4AE which is focusing on the resilience that pasture-based grazing systems provide to ruminant production and the wider benefits of grazing systems for the environment, animal welfare and society,” Dr. Deirdre Hennessy, Teagasc Research and G4AE Work Package 2 Leader.
Project updates can be found on:
- Twitter: @HEurope_G4AE
- Facebook: Grazing4AgroEcology
- LinkedIn: Grazing4AgroEcology