EPSO appreciates that among cluster 6 impacts ‘ensuring food and nutrition security’ (incl. fostering a dietary shift) as well as ‘biodiversity’ including ‘increasing agrobiodiversity’ are considered now throughout the strategy. 

Under the expected impact #28 ‘Putting biodiversity on a path to recovery, and protecting and restoring ecosystems and their services’, “increase agrobiodiversity – e.g. by supporting R&I on niche, underutilised and novel crops” are highlighted.

Under the expected impact #30 ‘Ensuring healthy food and nutrition security by making agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and food systems sustainable, resilient, inclusive and within planetary boundaries’, crop improvement and adaptation is one path towards food and nutrition security. Contributions relevant to plant scientists are for example “Key research areas for agriculture will include mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, fostering plant and animal breeding and conserving and improving the use of genetic resources (including the use of new technologies).”, “address crop diversification, improvement and adaptation”, “bolster plant health… leverage the potential of protein crops and underutilised crops.”

Among the partnerships, for plant scientists the upcoming one on forests and forestry will be of interest, in addition to the biodiversity, the agroecology and the food systems partnerships.

EPSO provided advise to national ministries on this as well to the European Commission and is looking forward to continuing this constructive collaboration with advice towards the development of the respective Work Programmes.


EPSO full statement, 29.3.2024

European Commission: The Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2025-27, 20.3.2024


Karin Metzlaff, EPSO