Exploring synergies between wild pollinators and climate-smart protein production
Grain legumes have the potential to provide climate-smart protein for human consumption and livestock fodder, while simultaneously enhancing pollinator habitat and soil productivity, thereby promoting sustainable agricultural land use and benefits to multiple ecosystem services. However, current grain legume acreages in Europe and Sweden are small. We aim to evaluate the desirability of increasing legume production on current arable land in Sweden to meet climate, food security and environmental goals, and to identify policy pathways that can accomplish this, using a mixed method approach that combines ecology, ecological-economic modelling and trans-disciplinary policy analysis.
We will: i) quantify multiple environmental benefits of increasing grain legume production using mechanistic and statistical models (agri-ecological production functions) based on empirical data and data from the literature; ii) evaluate impacts on farmers’ welfare (and thus willingness to grow legumes) using agent-based modelling; iii) evaluate the impacts on societal welfare of policy scenarios affecting grain legume acreages in dialogue with stakeholders, using our integrated modelling and complementary benefit-cost analysis, under different assumptions of future use of grain legume crops. We will synthesize the results, and use them to inform the future development of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy to benefit sustainable agricultural production and consumption.