Adopting Nature-based solutions
Current climate changes, including recurrent droughts in Mediterranean countries, become a huge threat to grape production, food security and farmers' incomes in this region. A real challenge is currently the evolution towards sustainable production systems that combine economic viability with ecological practices. Using and managing the diversity of microorganisms with appropriate wine-growing practices is among the most promising and innovative opportunities in the agricultural system. The manipulation of this plant microbiome has great potential to reduce the incidence of diseases, promote plant growth and the productive aptitude of plants even under stressful conditions.
The MiDiVine project aims to develop knowledge, tools and integrated approaches based on grapevine genetic resources and agricultural practices that promote functional microbial diversity (DMF) to improve grapevine production and resistance against its main diseases: grey rot, downy mildew and esca under drought stress conditions, thus reducing the use of protection products in the vineyards.
The project will analyse the impact of the vine genotype, soil type and agricultural practices (use of covers and functional plants) on the DMF and its protection efficiency. An innovative and sustainable solution is expected to improve agroecosystem services, managing soil microorganisms and intercropping, typical of Mediterranean countries.
The project is coordinated by the University of Reims Champagne-Ardennes, with a consortium of 9 entities from France, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia and the British territory of Akrotiri-Dhekelia in Cyprus. It is financed by PRIMA, a sub-programme of the European Union's Horizon 2020 structural program, with an approved budget of 820 thousand euros and execution until May 2024.
Sogrape plays the role of consultant in the project for questions about grape varieties and soils of Portugal.