INTIA’s work and mission
INTIA’s core mission is to provide services for the transfer of knowledge, technology, and innovation of the regional agrifood system, which helps to improve both viability and sustainability, thus maintaining a living rural environment while respecting the environment and making sure that people have access to quality food.
Main lines of knowledge: crop protection, animal health, genetic material, new techniques, technologies, livestock feeding and management, fertilisation, mechanisation and machinery, irrigation and infrastructures, agro-environmental studies, waste management, sustainability, energy efficiency, precision agriculture, technical-economic management, quality control and certification, promotion, agri-food marketing.
INTIA and the Smart Protein project
INTIA participates in the agronomic part of the project
In the context of the Smart Protein project, INTIA set up field experiments for the testing and validation of crop varieties selected from protein crops, specifically chickpeas, lentils, broad beans, and quinoa. These four crops have been tested in seven different locations in Northern and Southern Europe to take into account the different cropping systems and pedo-climatic conditions. Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, and Spain are the seven locations chosen for the trials. INTIA carried out its trials on a farm in Sartaguda, Spain, where all of its crops are organic.
The origin of these varieties were diverse, and included local varieties, varieties from other parts of Spain, and even varieties provided by other project partners that can be adapted to our local pedo-climatic conditions. At the end of each season, the production of each variety was evaluated, along with other parameters such as protein content. Based on these results and on how the varieties adapt to the regional conditions, the optimal varieties were tested during the following season. During the third and fourth years, one or two optimisation production strategies per crop will be defined for planting on a commercial scale, taking into account the environmental, and economic aspects. At the same time, optimisation trials are designed to better understand crops and specific issues with each crop (sowing density, mechanical weeding, and tolerance of varieties to disease).
The expertise that INTIA bring to the Smart Protein project
INTIA’s work in the area of vegetable proteins
INTIA’s main objective in working on protein crops is to find crop alternatives for cereal rotations in the region, while also allowing farmers to meet the local demand for vegetable protein (74% of legumes in Spain are currently imported), especially in the organic sector. INTIA is currently conducting trials on grain legumes (lentils, chickpeas, and broad beans) and high-protein crops (quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth), testing varieties and cultivation routes in both organic and conventional farming. In the case of organic farming, it is also combined with work to create local short-circuit value chains.
We work with all parts of the food production value chain, providing advanced services for the agri-food sector. We offer specialised services customised according to the activities and needs of our customers. We base our services on training, our own experimentation, and the knowledge and experience of our technical staff. Our contract models allow us to establish a continuous relationship over time and to solve problems and queries on efficiently and timeously.
- Research – varieties, diseases and pests, fertilisation and soil, irrigation, digitisation, grazing, animal nutrition
- Advice & training – individual farmers, cooperatives, agri-food industry, livestock farmers, associations
- Construction works – irrigation, renewable energy
- Promotion – protected designation of origin, protected geographical indication, Reyno Gourmet, short value chains
INTIA’s work outside of the Smart Protein project
Other projects that INTIA is working on that are relevant to the Smart Protein project include the following:
- Climate Farm Demo: a network of 1,500 pilot demo farms, covering all European pedo-climatic areas and different agricultural sectors, from animal husbandry and mixed farming systems to specialised arable crops and horticulture crops, including organic farming.
Coordinator: IDELE https://climatefarmdemo.eu/
- IntercropVALUES: IntercropVALUES aims to exploit the benefits of intercropping in order to design and manage productive, diversified, resilient, profitable, and environmentally friendly cropping systems that are acceptable to farmers and other actors in the agri-food chain.
Coordinator: CIRAD https://intercropvalues.eu/
- SoilValues: enhancing soil health through values-based business models.
Coordinator: KU Leuven https://twitter.com/SoilValues
Networks, operational groups, and other initiatives will be used to multiply the CSR efforts of the project.