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How can faba-bean cropping contribute to a more sustainable European agriculture? - Analysis of transition opportunities and barriers
European agriculture relies on large amounts of imported protein fodder, primarily soya-beans, for livestock rearing from e.g. South and North America. This has severe social and environmental impacts, and require large amount of fossil fuel to cultivate, harvest and transport. This paper investigates how faba-beans - a leguminous crop able to fixate its own nitrogen through symbiosis with soil bacteria while providing various other Eco System Services - can be adopted, as a valuable crop by farmers in EU. This could substitute import of soya-bean for animal fodder, providing global savings in pesticide, artificial fertilizer and fossil energy usage. Emphasizing transition theory and e.g. farm machinery, culture and policies, we conclude, that activities must be applied at all levels of the agricultural system. New transition pathways are e.g. to strengthen farm networks to share knowledge and farm equipment for faba-bean cultivation, and to enhance the environmental regulation to limit the amount of artificial fertilizer distributed on farmland making legumes more valuable for farmers.