DURCAT: innovative pilot project to promote the supply of domestic durum wheat demand with proximity production
- The Operational Group is part of the European Association for Innovation (EAI)
The durum wheat crop is currently minor in Catalonia, although it generates more than 60% of the pasta and semolina business throughout the state. Domestic demand, which exceeds 100,000 tonnes of durum wheat each year, is covered by wheat from other parts of Spain and southern France. However, previous experiences indicate that durum wheat cultivation can be a viable alternative in Catalonia, since, in the areas where it has been cultivated, yields have proved to be similar to those obtained in other locations.
With the purpose of creating a productive and commercial framework that allows to supply the domestic demand for high quality durum wheat, and provide farmers with an attractive crop that contributes to diversifying production, the DURCAT Operational Group has just started. The project, which integrates all the durum wheat chain, is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food of the Generalitat de Catalunya. Under the coordination of the Gallo Group, the project has the participation of Cereales Aragón y Cataluña (CAYCSA), the Associació Catalana de Multiplicadors de Llavors (ACML), the Associació de Cooperatives de les Terres de Lleida (ACTEL) , the Organització Professional Agrària Joves Agricultors i Ramaders de Catalunya (JARC) and IRTA.
Throughout the agricultural campaigns of 2019 and 2020, the most suitable varieties for different Catalan production areas will be identified, and new innovative tools for decision-making in the field of irrigation and nitrogen fertilization (based on remote sensing and sensorization) will be provided to farmers, with the aim of producing high quality grain in a way that respects the environment and to be economically sustainable.
The project aims to create a short chain integrator model of distribution from field to industry, evaluating, in addition, the environmental and economic impact of the proposed production model.