FREECLIMB : Fruit crops adaptation to climate change in the Mediterranean basin

Project identifier 171-FREECLIMB
Project Status ongoing
Start date 2019-04-01
End date 2022-03-31
Roadmap Theme
  • Sustainable intensification: Identification and breeding of animals and crops to maintain/increase productivity
  • Cross-cutting issues: Engagement between African and European R&I communities
  • Type of Project Applied research project
    Programme PRIMA
    Keyword climate change; fruit crops; stress resilience; citrus; peach; almond; grape; apricot; olive
    Location Italy; Turkey; Greece; Egypt; Tunisia; Algeria; Morocco; France; Spain
    Budget 1 680 950
    Main Funder Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) (H2020)
    Coordinator University of Milan
  • Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA)
  • University of Catania
  • National Research Council, Italy (CNR)
  • Hellenic Agricultural Organization DEMETER (ELGO)
  • Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources (IPBGR)
  • Cukurova University
  • Agricultural Research Centre (ARC), Egypt
  • Olive Institute
  • École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique (ENSA)
  • Frères Mentouri Constantine 1 University
  • Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA-MAROC)
  • Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG)
  • French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)
  • UMR 1332 BFP
  • Project Web Site
  • Project framework
  • PRIMA funded projects 2018
  • Description


    The climatic scenario predicted for the Mediterranean areas poses specific challenges for agricultural productions. The vulnerability of agricultural sectors to the modification of agro-climatic conditions depends on both the expected regional climate change and the sectors’ ability to adapt. For their perennial status, fruit tree crops are particularly exposed to environmental change. Quality and quantity of fruit productions are strongly affected by genotype x environment interactions.


    The FREECLIMB project is built to match topic 2.1 of the PRIMA framework in developing smart and sustainable farming systems in Mediterranean countries, to preserve natural resources (water and land use) by increasing production efficiency. This will be pursued by advancing knowledge on mechanisms of plant environmental adaptation and biotic/abiotic stress resilience. The project targets major fruit tree species with the aim of improving the availability of breeding and germplasm material adapted to limited external resources (input) and future climatic scenarios predicted for the Mediterranean area, through the characterization and exploitation of local biodiversity. The project will focus on key ideotypes elaborated in collaboration with Fruit Farming Actors (FFAs, breeders, nurseries, growers) with the core objective of providing a toolkit (diverse germplasm, tools and methods) to accelerate exploitation, breeding and selection of resilient varieties in key traditional fruit crops of Mediterranean agriculture (stone fruits such as peach, apricot and almond; Citrus spp.; grape and olive).

    Expected impacts

    Considering Southern countries climate as representative of changing scenarios predicted for Northern ones, FREECLIMB will strongly benefit from collaboration between the South and North Mediterranean shores: for each species targeted by the project at least two countries are involved one from the North and one from the South. The balanced composition of the consortium ensures an equal footing approach with particular attention to co-ownership of results, mutual interest and shared benefits.