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Adapting mediterranean vegetable crops to climate change-induced multiple stress

VEG-ADAPT (Adapting mediterranean vegetable crops to climate change-induced multiple stress) is an international research project approved under the PRIMA - IS call  2018 and launched 1 October 2019.

VEG-ADAPT is supported by  National Funding Agencies of the 8 participating countries (France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Morocco. Spain, Turkey). 

Steady increase of CO2 concentration in the world atmosphere has been recorded since the 1980s and this has gone hand-in-hand with major changes in climate, which are now severely affecting Mediterranean agriculture, threatening food security and putting at risk the economic sustainability of both small family and industrial farms .

Climate change causes and worsens environmental stresses such as drought, heat, and salinity, which are strictly interconnected lower the amount of water available for crops. In the Mediterranean area, increased temperatures are being recorded, together with a general decrease and discontinuity in rainfall. Long hot and dry periods are posing severe limits to non-irrigated crops and, in the case of irrigated vegetable crops, water resources may become insufficient to successfully grow commercial élite varieties. A further problem induced by climate change is a higher risk of salt stress, brought upon by reduced irrigation and rainfall and heat-driven evaporation, which may force farmers to use low-quality salty water for irrigation.

Vegetable crops in the Mediterranean are increasingly exposed to climate change-induced, single and multiple stresses, in particular drought, heat, and salinity. Improving plant resilience to stress in correctly planned crop management systems is key to achieve crop adaptation to climate-change-induced stress.

Tomato, pepper, and melon are major fruit vegetable crops in the Mediterranean. Collectively, these crops are the major providers of fruit to the Mediterranean countries, with a total yield reaching 45 million tonnes in 2016. These vegetables have carotenoid- rich fruit, significantly contributing to the dietary uptake of antioxidants in the Mediterranean population, and their consumption is estimated to 40 kg per capita and year collectively.

The environmentally sustainable and cost-effective tangible outputs of the project will be:
New genotypes of tomato, pepper and melon adapted to climate change efficient in using limited resources/productive in Mediterranean area 
Crop management practices suitable for local varieties
The uptake of these results will be enabled through demonstration in Mediterranean farms, and will contribute to mitigation of risks posed by climate-change to food security, health, and social well-being in the Mediterranean basin and beyond 


  • to characterize genetic and physiological traits providing tolerance and resilience to drought, heat, and salinity;
  • to adapt crop management systems  to tolerant/resilient varieties;
  • to profile and/o develop new stress-adapted genotypes by exploiting local genetic diversity as well as novel genotypes and hybrids.

2 milion euros

36 months (October 2019-September 2022)

University of Torino (Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences DISAFA; Department of Management; Research Center for Women's and Gender Studies CIRSDe)

Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops; 
University of Balearic Islands; 
Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Tecnologia Agraria y Alimentaria; 
Abiopep S.L; 
Gautier Semences; 
Agricultural University of Athens; 
Agricultural Cooperative Notos; 
The National Agricultural Research Center; 
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique; 
Ege University; 
Menemen Chamber of Agriculture; 
Institut National de la Récherche Agronomique - Génétique et Amélioration des Fruits et Légumes.


Ultimo aggiornamento: 10/04/2024