Conventional agriculture covers about half of the agricultural land of the EU countries; its negative impacts on the environment and on the basic natural resources are recognised. Growing concerns of society related to environmental deterioration such as soil erosion, CO2 emission, water and food contamination, livestock epidemics, etc. make it necessary to explore new ways of improving the sustainability of present farming systems.
Alternative agricultural practices, technologies and approaches to support sustainable agriculture were researched, developed, tested and implemented during the second half of the 20th century in Europe and above all in North and South America and Australia; they concern several million hectares. Learning from the results of this experience and research and sharing lessons will undoubtedly contribute to the defining of pathways and tools that can orient European policy on the development of sustainable agriculture.
The KASSA proposal is aimed at building up a comprehensive knowledge base on sustainable agricultural practices, approaches and systems in support of stakeholders: farmers and professionals, researchers and policymakers at local, regional, national, European and global levels.
KASSA involves a critical mass of skilled partners divided between four platforms: Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia and Latin America. It will be achieved through successive work sequences starting with a comprehensive inventory of existing results followed by a progressive refinement of the findings, alternating critical analysis and the sharing of the results of each platform.