Currently Europe produces only about 30% of the plant protein needed for supplementary protein in feed, resulting in import of 40 million tonnes of soya bean and soya meal per year. This imbalance in the European agricultural system is due to the lack of an economically competitive grain legume protein crop that can match cereals for farmer profits.
The current system dominated by cereals is not sustainable since it enforces vast protein imports and requires large supplements of energy-expensive mineral fertilisers, since cereals, unlike legumes, are not able to fix nitrogen. ProFaba aims to boost protein production in Europe by improving faba bean as a European protein crop, thereby markedly contributing to a more balanced and protein-self-sufficient agricultural system. This project brings together partners with complementary expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, quantitative genetics, insect resistance, disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, nitrogen fixation, field phenotyping, breeding, and climate and phenological modeling.