Identifiant du topic: HORIZON-CL6-2024-FARM2FORK-02-5-two-stage

Animal nutritional requirements and nutritional value of feed under different production management conditions

Type d'action : HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions
Nombre d'étapes : Two stage
Date d'ouverture : 17 octobre 2023
Date de clôture 1 : 22 février 2024 17:00
Date de clôture 2 : 17 septembre 2024 17:00
Budget : €7 000 000
Call : Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption
Call Identifier : HORIZON-CL6-2024-FARM2FORK-02
Description :


A successful proposal will support the objective of the farm to fork strategy to transition to a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly European agriculture, and contribute to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of specific farming sectors and preserve biodiversity. It is expected to contribute to limit the reliance of the European agricultural sector to imported feed materials.

The proposed project will enhance the use of locally produced and more climate-friendly solutions for animal feed without compromising animal performance and productivity. It will focus on existing or alternative source of nutrients using value chain approaches to maximize feed production and feed use efficiency, supporting the local environment and farm circularity.

Activities under this topic will contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Guidelines for processes and policies for improved resource-efficient production, use, and diversification of safe feedstuffs;
  • Optimised use of feedstuffs, new plants, forage species and associations at local level;
  • Uptake by farmers of practices to diversify sources of feedstuffs and use of natural resources on rangeland, where appropriate;
  • (Alternative) Feed production/supply strategies that facilitate self-sufficiency and ensure safety of feed; closed nutrient cycle at local level and diminished environmental and climate footprint;
  • Improved systems for facilitating the planning and calculation of the rations/diets of feed adjusted to specific livestock and individual/group animal requirements, and for mitigating the risk of anti-nutritional factors or contaminants in feedstuffs.


Feed resources are important components of livestock production systems, and their efficient use is the primary determinant of animal performance and productivity. The availability and use of local feedstuffs, including new and underused sources, including alternative protein sources, is a challenge in many livestock farming systems and it has several implications in terms of farm economics, product quality and safety, animal health and welfare. Furthermore, there is the need to design more precise and resilient feeding systems while ensuring requirements of biodiversity protection and restoration.

The aim is to optimise the use of local feedstuffs, shorten supply chains and rely more on local resources. It is important to investigate content, availability and digestibility of nutrients in locally available feedstuffs in different pedo-climatic regions and livestock systems, without compromising feed safety and efficiency.

The following elements should be incorporated:

  • Determine and adjust net energy-based nutritional requirements (macro and micronutrients) for local breeds and different management conditions, addressing both conventional and organic livestock farming;
  • Assess on-farm practices and equipment to use feedstuffs more efficiently (post-harvest technologies, crops mixture, foraging strategies, rangeland management);
  • Take advantage of between and within breed genetic diversity to optimize the use (acceptance and feed efficiency) of local feedstuffs;
  • Evaluate the impacts of processing technologies on the efficiency of local feedstuffs
  • Improved knowledge on the effects of functional additives (enzymes, gut flora stabilisers, natural plants, vitamins, etc.) on farm-scale animal performance, health and welfare;
  • Assess and minimize the risk of anti-nutritional factors or contaminants such as biotoxins in feedstuffs,
  • Analyse and monitor the performance of the animal production systems and the quality of animal-based products under novel feeding strategies;
  • Determine better indicators of animal nutritional requirements and the nutritional value of locally produced feedstuffs
  • Assess the economic sustainability and environmental impact of identified resilient feeding systems and related structural changes (at local level)

If necessary, proposals should include a dedicated task, appropriate resources and a plan on how they will collaborate with other projects funded under other topics and ensure synergy with relevant activities carried out under other initiatives in Horizon Europe.

Due to the scope of this topic, international cooperation is strongly encouraged, in particular with China. This topic is within the scope of the Administrative Arrangement between the European Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China on a Co-funding Mechanism for the period 2021-2024 to support collaborative research projects under the Food, Agriculture and Biotechnologies (FAB) and the Climate Change and Biodiversity (CCB) flagship initiatives.

Actions will contribute to implementing the EU-China Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology (FAB) flagship initiative, which aims to ensure sustainability of agri-food systems, catering for the needs of a growing population, the reduction of food and agricultural losses and waste, and the provision of safe and healthy foodstuffs. Interaction with other actions developed under the EU-China Climate Change and Biodiversity (CCB) Research Flagship and the Flagship on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnologies (FAB) is encouraged if relevant.