Raising Bio-Based Industrial Feedstock in Marginal Lands
MarginUp! is developing sustainable and circular value chains to produce bioproducts and biofuels from natural raw materials grown on marginal lands. By introducing climate resilient and biodiversity-friendly non-food crops on marginal and low-productivity lands, MarginUp! will increase farming system resilience, enhance biodiversity, and promote stakeholder participation.
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Almost 30% of the EU27+UK agricultural area is classified as marginal: Land that has little agricultural value because the value of the products cultivated on the land is lower than the cost of producing it.
Left neglected, these lands continue to degrade, in turn leading to more biodiversity loss and ecosystem damage, leaving the land and surrounding ecosystems more vulnerable to climate change impacts, including desertification.
Across the continent, agricultural land and activities are threatened by poor soil health with 60-70% of all soils are unhealthy in Europe due to land management practices, pollution, intensive agriculture, urbanisation, and the effects of climate change.
MarginUp! proposes practices to secure use and return profitability on marginal lands, while enhancing biodiversity by cultivating climate-resilient and biodiversity-friendly non-food crops for sustainable industrial feedstock on marginal lands. This will simultaneously provide an abundant local source of renewable feedstocks to produce high-value biobased commodities and support ecosystem restoration and health.
Working closely with land managers, farmers, and stakeholders from the growing bioeconomy industry, MarginUp! will create sustainable and circular value chains and increase the resilience of rural farming systems. To further improve biodiversity and environmental benefits, MarginUp! will focus on understanding which marginal lands are suitable with the lowest impact for low indirect land-use change (ILUC) biomass production.