The 4BIOLIVE project will contribute to the following expected impacts:

Redesign of the system with 4BIOLIVE development

Yield stability and quality in comparison to standard

Increased soil fertility by the proposed farming systems

Increased income and satisfaction by farmers

Increased efficiency in the use of water management

Promotion of socially and environmentally

New organizations facilitating learning and coordination

1. Redesign of the systems

The innovative use of by-products is a strategic tool for an ecological transition towards sustainable agriculture, breaking-down the dependence on non-renewable resources. Within 4BIOLIVE, the development of these new systems falls within the concept of the circular economy by promoting the transition from the current linear management and use of natural resources to a circular approach, minimizing the risk of failure associated with yield losses due to inappropriate farming systems, environmental stresses, and improving resilience, stability and robustness of the agroecosystems.

2. Yield stability and quality in comparison to standard farming systems under challenging environmental conditions

Global population will expand from 7.5 billion to more than 9.5 billion by 2050. Agriculture has to face this challenge becoming more productive in a sustainable way. Innovative technologies and adaptive management practices are also required in relation to climate change. In order to increase the stability and quality of farming systems and reduce the losses caused by these adversities, biostimulants and biofertilizers can be used. Biostimulants and biofertilizers developed in 4BIOLIVE and potentiated by the use of lignin nanoparticles and biopolymers will be able to stimulate plants and restore soil properties.

3. Increased soil fertility by the proposed farming systems

Olive mill wastes are rich in organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and other precious nutrients. Sustainable recovery of these by-products in 4BIOLIVE will improve soil fertility, in terms of organic matter and nutrients. The implemented biopolymer, capable of exerting a slow release of nutrients will permit a more effective load of beneficial substances into the soil, avoiding their loss by leaching or toxicity phenomena for plants. Indeed, the efficiency of 60-70% after the application in the field of chemical biofertilizer can be improved, by increasing the production of biofertilizers for a more efficient and sustainable agriculture, and able to supply to the long term soil fertility. Moreover, the use of lignin based biopolymers allows for their complete degradation by the soil microorganisms.

4. Increased income and satisfaction by the farmers and consumers for the improvement of nutritional value of crops

An inadequate intake of essential nutrients from diet is responsible for human diseases. Drought, salinity, improper soil fertility and other stresses can trigger physiological, morphological and biochemical changes in plants which result in altered nutraceutical values. Biostimulants have been found to effectively increase plant nutrient uptake, the content of protein, carbohydrates, phenolic compounds, pigments and various antioxidant beneficial compounds. The use of innovative materials for biostimulation and biofertilization in 4BIOLIVE, potentiated by lignin nanoparticles and biopolymers, will elevate the nutritional value of crops, avoiding the negative impact of environmental stresses on their content.

5. Increased efficiency in the use of water

Water management will benefit from the ability of the innovative bioproducts obtained in 4BIOLIVE of stimulating beneficial physiological responses in plants, ameliorating their efficiency in using water. Biofertilizers will improve the soil structure, and its capacity to retain water. These beneficial effects will enhance the adaptive capacity and resilience of agricultural systems, so reducing their vulnerability.

6. Promotion of environmentally, socially and economically sustainable agroecosystems, capable of preserving natural resources from degradation and sharply limiting the impact of production systems on the environment.

Traditional cropping systems disperse pesticides, heavy metals, and excessive amounts of fertilizers in agricultural soil and water. In addition, agriculture contributes to about 10% the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The use of 4BIOLIVE biofertilizers, improved by slow-release lignin-based biopolymers, will alleviate this unsustainable environmental pressure, reducing the chemical fertilizers input. Finally, the reuse and the valorisation of agricultural by-products will cut the high costs for their disposal, avoiding their impact on the environment.

7. New organizations facilitating learning and coordination among actors, between farmers and along the value chain.

Value chain research usually focuses on structural relations in chains and less on social interactions and stakeholder engagement: the possibility of setting a landscape of practice, that is comprised of communities of practice within the different stakeholders and organizations, will make more visible the social capital, linking it to improved organizational performance, innovation and ultimately resilience, facilitating coherent and coordinated action in value chains.
This project is part of the PRIMA programme supported by the European Union Any dissemination of results must indicate that it reflects only the author's view and that the PRIMA Foundation is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains