Why HelEx ?
Towards sustainable agriculture: harnessing sunflower's potential in a changing climate
Over the past century, advancements in breeding and agricultural techniques have enhanced crop yields, but at a significant ecological expense, further exacerbated by climate change.
Intensive farming practices have eroded biodiversity, particularly affecting pollinators in European agricultural systems.
The European Green Deal emphasizes the need for climate-resilient cropping systems that support biodiversity while ensuring food and feedstock production. Sunflower, a drought-tolerant oil crop vital for southern Europe, offers ecological and economic benefits, serving as a key resource for pollinators and addressing Europe’s feedstock demands.
However, the limited sunflower research community faces challenges in harnessing the potential of wild Helianthus species and integrating existing knowledge for holistic agricultural improvements.