INSIDERS Corn, Sorghum & Oilseeds Creating Food Sovereignty Through The Right Variety Development

Creating Food Sovereignty Through The Right Variety Development

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On 3 September 2020, the French Prime Minister presented the ‘France Relance’ plan, which is a roadmap for the economic, social and ecological rebuilding of the country. This plan is the result of a broad national consultation set up to draw lessons from the crisis. This ‘France Relance’ program seeks to:

  1. Reduce dependence on imports of materials rich in protein, in particular soybeans imported from third countries responsible for deforestation.
  2. To improve the food autonomy of French farms, at the level of farms, territories, and sectors.
  3. Increase the production and consumption of vegetable proteins in human food.

Part of the roadmap is the Protein Plan as one of the levers for developing the national economy and will receive an investment of 100 million euros. This long-awaited announcement was of course applauded by the entire oilseed and protein crop sector and especially Lidea, which early on recognized the importance of varietal selection and has implemented selection programs in this direction.

Our company has been putting the resources into directing our research on plant varieties rich in protein (soybean, rapeseed, pulses). Our main aim is to find new solutions in varietal evaluation for soybean, rapeseed and pulses and support producers to achieve the highest customer satisfaction.

Through our ongoing innovation, our company plans on continuing to supply production sectors in France and Europe and in that way contribute to food sovereignty. Since 1975, the Euralis Semences soybean research has continuously brought better varieties to the market, that have a higher yield and more proteins for each climatic zone in Europe. Did you know that Lidea has the largest portfolio of soybean in Europe? And that we have soybean varieties ranging from Very Early (000) types to Late (III).

Our research centre is located nearby Toulouse, in the middle of a strategic seed improvement and production area and counts 80+ Research co-workers. It coordinates field research activities of 17 research stations located throughout Europe. We invest over 10% of LIDEA’s turnover in order to ensure a performant and relevant flow of varieties that meet the challenges of tomorrow. In 2020, our soybean R&D network spanned 38 locations, of which 13 in France.

“The goal of our research is to continue to increase yield and protein content in non-GM soybean adapted to mid-temperate to cold climates, while achieving a good lodging and disease tolerance. We are working on varieties with protein levels above 46 percent” says François Paybou, Soybean Market Development manager.

Another piece of innovation comes from our cooperation with Sojalim, an animal feed factory located in South-West France. Each year, 25 000 tons of non-GM & local soybean (organic & non-organic) are mechanically triturated to provide soymeal for the high quality local certified meat markets. And the interesting part is that Sojalim innovates by shelling the seed before crushing, which increases the protein level of the meal.

We must be able to think differently about seeds to help agriculture respond to all the challenges it faces, that is why, Lidea is a main actor of oilseed sector.