Research (for example the Food and Nutrition Program FOOD 2030) will play a key role in improving sustainability and diversity of food systems and finding food waste solutions (1.3 billion tons per year). This was announced by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Rumen Porodzanov during a conference in Brussels on „Innovating for the future of farming and rural communities", organized by the EC and devoted to the correlation between science, innovation and agriculture.
The conference was also attended by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan and the Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture in the European Parliament Czesław Adam Siekierski.
"Targeted research and policies in the field of agriculture and bio-economy will tackle the major challenges we are facing today by ensuring: viable food production in response to the growing global demand; sustainable management of natural resources and climate actions; balanced development of rural areas and their communities," Porodzanov underlined.
The Minister referred to the following Horizon 2020 projects as good examples of broad and effective cooperation:
-"Networking European Farms to boost mutual expansion of knowledge and use of innovation through demonstration (NEFERTITI, RUR-12-2017) aiming to create 10 interactive thematic networks that bring together 45 regional clusters in 17 countries, including farmers organizing demonstrations and institutions related to agriculture (advisors, NGOs, industry, education, science institutes and politicians); and
- Peer-to-peer learning (exchange of experience between partners): access to innovation through demonstration activities (PLAID), identifying, summarizing and publishing best practices and innovative approaches to market-economy demonstrations in the EU-28, Switzerland and Norway.
In both projects, the Bulgarian National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAAS) plays an active role.
In June the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU organizes a leading conference on research and innovation in Plovdiv - Food 2030 as an engine for moving to sustainable food systems. Such transformation requires research and innovations that place the food system at the focus. This is a mean of guaranteeing food and food security in the changing world, combined with the pressure from climate change, resource scarcity, biodiversity loss, malnutrition, demographic change and migration.