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Integrating legume biology for sustainable agriculture

Lisbon welcomes international scientific event on renewable-N plants
Integrating legume biology for sustainable agriculture

"Feijão Mariazinha"

Oeiras, 06/11/07

Since this morning, around 400 world wide scientists are gathered in Lisbon to discuss the latest progress on legumes, these environmental-friendly plants which are able to use renewable nitrogen to growth.  “The sustainability of agriculture requires legumes but these crops are under-used in the EU: our progress in legume genetic and biology enables to redress the balance” says the EU consortium which has the scientific leadership for nitrogen-fixing plants.

When citizens question the impact of human activities on the environment, when Europe questions the sustainability and the functions of agriculture, it is important to look to legumes: field peas, faba beans, lupins, lentils, lucerne, clover, etc., do not need nitrogenous fertilizers to grow and produce seeds or raw materials for feed, food and non-food uses. Thanks to a natural symbiosis that uses the renewable nitrogen in the air for the needs of the plant, these crops can minimise the detrimental environmental impact of agriculture and must contribute to farming sustainability. 

José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, has offered his patronage to the 6th European Conference on Grain Legumes, which features the Outcome Event of the Grain Legumes Integrated Project (GLIP).

This morning, stressing the importance of grain legumes for a sustainable agriculture, Luis Medeiros Ferreira, Secretary of State of the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development welcomed the participants on behalf of the Portuguese government and Timothy Hall, the Acting Director of Biotechnologies, Agriculture, Food - European Commission - Directorate-General for Research, officially opened the conference. The 6th European Conference on Grain legumes will take place at the Lisbon Congress Centre from 12 to 16 November. Carlota Vaz Patto, researcher at ITQB is coordinating the local organizing committee.

More on the meeting and on grain legumes here.

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