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Participatory design of scenarios for the reintroduction of legumes in France – presentation of the collective article by Pelzer et al. (2020)

4 February 2021 - 14h - 15h15 - Webinar

Scenarios for legumes reintroduction
On Thursday 4 February at 2:00pm, Elise Pelzer, innovation manager at the Hauts-de-France Chamber of Agriculture, will present the article published last summer in the journal Agricultural Systems, titled “Participatory design of agronomic scenarios for the reintroduction of legumes into a French territory”, co-authored by Elise Pelzer, Mathilde Bonifazi, Marion Soulié, Laurence Guichard, Maude Quinio, Remy Ballot, and Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy.


Legume crops have a number of advantages for dealing with current environmental and food challenges. However, the area under grain and forage legumes has greatly decreased in recent decades in Europe. Attempts to foster the development of legumes will require the sharing and coordination of the visions, objectives, strategies and actions of different stakeholders at territorial level. Participatory approaches can facilitate this by involving stakeholders in the design of prospective territorial scenarios, rendering them more realistic by integrating local pedoclimatic and socioeconomic contexts and the possibilities for stakeholder action. We followed a participatory approach for designing and assessing prospective scenarios at territorial scale, addressing local agricultural issues through crop diversification with legumes. The participating stakeholders came from various organizations in the domains of agriculture (agronomists and supply chain stakeholders), the environment, and research. A description and multicriteria characterization of current and prospective crop management plans was first obtained from national statistical data, face-to-face surveys and participatory workshops.
The results of this first step were then used for simulation of the current territory (distribution of crops and crop management plans within the territory), with the validation of this simulation by local stakeholders during a participatory workshop. This simulation was used as the baseline for the design and assessment of prospective scenarios. In a third step, stakeholders proposed and discussed various objectives for their territory during a participatory workshop. Four scenarios were then simulated with a linear-programming tool, optimizing the distribution of crop management plans to respect constraints based on the objectives proposed by stakeholders. Depending on the scenarios, the area under legume ranged from 8.8 to 22.8%, compared to 5.9% for the current territory. Finally, agronomic (yields), socioeconomic (e.g. semi-net margin, working load) and environmental performance (e.g. Nitrate leaching, TFI) were assessed, and the results and conditions for the implementation of scenarios were discussed with stakeholders at another participatory workshop. Stakeholders had to express their views on the values and limitations of the scenarios. The stakeholders considered this participatory approach to be successful, and the scenarios proved to be a good basis for discussions about the future of agriculture within the territory and about new levers for reintroducing legumes. Following this study, part of the involved stakeholders initiated local projects in the territory.

Onligne article: Pelzer et al, 2020

Presentation material:  download here

Video recording:  available here