Global Agriculture

Intercropping: exploitation of biodiversity benefits in arable fields

22 November 2021, UK: Diversification of crop systems provides great opportunities to make food production more sustainable and resilient but also faces challenges along the whole value chain. A session at the World Biodiversity Forum (26th June to 1st July 2022) co-organised by a James Hutton Institute scientist will summarise current knowledge about the benefits of intercropping and draw attention to ongoing challenges, including the need to provide advice to farmers, access to adapted machinery, and the development of end products from intercropped systems.

Taking place as a hybrid event co-organised by ETH Zurich (Christian Schöb) and the James Hutton Institute (Alison Karley), the session aims to give a voice to scientists and stakeholders from different disciplines and regions to obtain feedback on research findings and practical applications, and guide future developments in intercropping research.

Dr Alison Karley, an agroecologist within the James Hutton Institute’s Ecological Sciences group and co-organiser of the session, said: “Our trials with farmers across the UK – and beyond – have highlighted that intercropping is often hindered by practical issues beyond the farm gate. But when solutions are found, they create exciting opportunities for stakeholders across the value chain.”

Confirmed speakers at the session include:

  • Ivette Perfecto, University of Michigan, USA
  • Marta Vasconcelos, University of Porto, Portugal
  • Austin Phiri, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Malawi
  • Johan Six, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Lana Shaw, Southeast Research Farm, Canada
  • Samuel Wuest, Agroscope, Switzerland
  • Annelies Uebersax, Agrofutura, Switzerland
  • Sebastian Kussmann, GZPK, Switzerland

The abstract submission deadline is 28th November 2021. For more information and registration please visit the conference website