Despite their versatile use and benefits, legume-based systems have not been adopted in common farming practice, due largely to the fact that their potential profitability is questioned. Pulses only grow on 2-3 per cent of the arable land in the EU. That makes the EU highly dependent on imports of feed-legumes and fossil energy, which is required for the production of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers.
A new, European-wide research project intends to change this. In the project TRUE (transition paths to sustainable legume-based systems in Europe), 24 project partners from 10 European countries have gotten together to explore and develop sustainable legume-based farming systems and agri-feed and food chains in the EU. The group includes not only researchers from different backgrounds, but also businesses operating in legume commodity production and processing and other actors from the practice.
Agri Kulti Nonprofit Ltd. will contribute to the research project with a comprehensive case study on how to use pulses in short food supply chains: from small-scale farms to urban gastronomy. Agri Kulti aims to examine the possibility of introducing and enhancing traditional legume varieties into urban gastronomy and to reveal the conditions of this from the producers’ and consumers’ perspectives.
During the 4-year project traditional Hungarian pulse varieties will be tested in production by small and medium-scale farmers, processed into high-quality food products and tested by consumers at various scenes of urban gastronomy: from street food through catering to leading restaurants.