Breeding forage and grain legumes to increase EU and China protein self-sufficiency EUCLEG

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  • Horizon 2020 -European Commission: £395,391.43

Funder Project Reference(s)

Effective start/end date01 Sep 201731 Aug 2021


Since January 2014, the Horizon 2020 programme has allocated EU funding to research and innovation, including the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Its €70.2 billion budget supports three major priorities: excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling seven societal challenges, one of which is sustainable food security. To address this social challenge, Horizon 2020’s third call for projects selected the Eucleg legume project, coordinated by INRA. This four-year project unites 38 public and private partners across thirteen European countries and China.

Neither Europe nor China grow enough plant proteins to meet all their animal and human dietary needs. In 2013, China imported 60 million tonnes of soybean (i.e., 60% of the world market), a figure that is continuing to rise. Europe imports a steady 70% of what it consumes. Eucleg aims to reduce this dependency by developing the breeding and cultivation of legumes that play a major economic role in animal and human diets. Its objectives are to improve crop diversity and yields, ensure yield stability and enhance protein quality for forage crops (alfalfa, red clover) and pulses (pea, faba bean, soybean).