A work by CSIC and CREAF scientists highlights that wild plants are more fertile and more resistant to pests than traditional crop varieties because their roots release substances that help them to capture more nutrients and fight pathogenic bacteria and fungi in the soil. If these natural properties were transferred to conventional cultivated varieties, agricultural yield could be improved and the ecological impacts of pesticides and industrial fertilizers reduced.
Polyfarming is a regenerative agriculture project that combines forest resources, livestock and crops to recover a fertile soil in Mediterranean mountain areas. The project, co-financed by the European Commission's LIFE program, is led by the CREAF and the Planeses farm, where it is carried out on a real scale.
Research led by two French institutions shows that farmland comprising small fields sown with different types of crops is conducive to plant and animal diversity. Promoting such landscapes would help make up for the loss of natural and semi-natural habitats between crops.