With financial support from:

Combined brand Vlaio - FF ENGLISH
Combined brand VLAIO Catalisti
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cropexplore for farmers

The CropExplore for Farmers project is mapping the potential of more than 200 arable crops within the Flemish bioeconomy with deder, yacon and hemp as demonstration cases.

Why this project?

Suppose you want to bet as a grower on crop diversification by adding a new crop to your rotation. But how do you decide which crop this will be? And what is the most suitable variety to start with? There is also a clear need from the processing industry due to the current crises to work with more sustainable raw materials, to opt for zero-waste production and to reduce dependence on foreign countries. But which raw materials then have the greatest potential?

Today, it is not easy to answer these questions. Indeed, knowledge about new crops that have potential within the Flemish bioeconomy is highly fragmented and nowhere to be seen at a glance. This makes it very difficult for growers to compare two potential crops and make the right choice, but also for the food industry and other sectors to find the right opportunities.

Research approach and expected results

CropExplore for Farmers (CEF) is an agricultural (LA) project and moreover a cross-sector (inter-cluster) project with the aim to inspire and encourage farmers to grow new crops that have a potential within the Flemish bioeconomy. 

Concretely, we want to achieve this goal by:

  • Drawing up a knowledge matrix containing cultivation characteristics, yields, acreages, ingredients and sales opportunities of at least 200 known and less known arable crops with potential within the Flemish bioeconomy.
  • To translate the knowledge matrix into a convenient online tool that on the one hand will allow growers to compare crops on the basis of certain economic or ecological criteria and on the other hand will inspire product innovations in the processing industry.
  • To develop three demonstration cases on deder, yacon and hemp in which more specifically:
    • The cultivation technique (weed control, variety selection and mix cultivation) of deder at field scale will be tested and the applications of deder oil and press cake will be investigated.
    • Large-scale yacon cultivation will be optimized in terms of planting material and mechanization. Storage and processing into semi-finished products will be tested on a laboratory and pilot scale.
    • The marketing possibilities and profitability of hemp will be optimized by focusing on the valorization of hemp husks and shives
  • Facilitate contact and knowledge exchange between growers and processors.

Target group

Farmers are the primary target group of the CropExplore for Farmers project. More specifically, this refers to arable farms active in conventional or organic cultivation.

This project is also relevant for the processing industry and this from different sectors within the bioeconomy. By stimulating the cultivation of new raw materials, the processing industry can focus more on product innovations with locally grown raw materials. Hence, companies within the Flemish food and beverage industry and the chemicals and plastics sector also belong to the target group of this project.


Flanders' FOOD manages and coordinates the project. Implementation is in the hands of:

  • Boerenbond
  • Catalisti
  • HoGent
  • ILVO
  • Inagro
  • KU Leuven
  • Praktijkpunt Landbouw Vlaams-Brabant
  • Provinciaal Proefcentrum voor de Groenteteelt (PCG)

CropExplore for Farmers were recognized as a cluster project within the Flemish Bioeconomy Policy Plan.

Flanders' FOOD logo
logo Boerenbond
Catalisti Logo
Logo Hogeschool
KU Leuven
logo praktijkpunt
logo ViaVerda
Logo Hogeschool VIVES


The CropExplore for Farmers project started on 01/01/2023 and will continue until 31/12/2025 (project duration 3 years). Until then, participation is possible. Afterwards, results can be requested (subject to payment).

Participation fee:

  • SME: €500 per year + membership FF or Catalisti
  • Large enterprise: €2,000 per year + membership FF or Catalisti
  • Farmers
    • members of Boerenbond: free of charge
    • if no member of Boerenbond: €75/year or in-kind contribution (to be dicussed)


Ellen Martens
Ellen Martens
innovation manager