Lionel Alletto, researcher at INRAE and leader of IntercorpVALUES Co-Innovation Case Study 4, has recently participated in a local tv/online emission called (in French) C dans l’ sol (“It’s in the soil”). Yves Ferrier, from the Chamber of Agriculture and co-leader of CICS 4, was also interviewed.

C dans l’sol is a programme and digital magazine about soil, produced by the Eïwa Group cooperatives. It aims for the dissemination of knowledge, for dialogue between experts and people working on the field, and a place for people to tell their own “soil stories”.


Lionel and Yves discussed the crucial link between agricultural research (INRAE) and development structures (Chamber of Agriculture). They highlighted the IntercropVALUES project to emphasize the importance of interaction between stakeholders across the entire food chain when addressing complex holistic challenges such as developing sustainable agrifood chains. This encompasses not only working on agricultural issues but also economic ones, requiring a robust value chain, structural organization, innovative actors, fair pricing, and consumer participation.

Picture above: members of the Co-innovation Case Study 4 (in Tarn, France) discuss different aspects of intercropping in a meeting held in May.

They also addressed the financial compensation for farmers participating in such research programs and the benefits farmers gain from collaborating with researchers. These benefits include acquiring and producing new knowledge, receiving training on specific topics, and co-developing objectives to address their questions.

Yves rightly underscored the importance of group efforts in tackling agricultural issues. A farmer typically has about 40 harvests over their entire career, which means only 40 opportunities to experiment and find solutions, leaving little room for error. Collective on-farm trials can mitigate this limitation by multiplying the number of trials, thereby enhancing the chances of discovering effective solutions.

Picture above: Intercropping of wheat and clover in a field of Tarn (CICS 4, France).

CICS from IntercropVALUES have been working on addressing agricultural issues around intercropping over the past year, and they are gradually incorporating consumer and marketing questions into their dynamic. An upcoming project webinar will focus on consumer acceptability, with Lucia Espinosa-Brisset, an INRAE Research Fellow in Sensory Engineering for Food Design. She will present her approach on collaboration with multiple stakeholders on consumer acceptability and developing new products.

This news item was written by Fanny Raoux (INRAE)