In late May 2015 an expedition from the Forage Crops Department of the Institute travelled to the Monastery St. Prohor Pčinjski in southern Serbia to collect samples of wild pea (Pisum sativum subsp. elatius) within the framework of PEASEMAKERS project financed through IPA Cross-border Programme Hungary-Serbia. This wild pea species spreads over large areas of the Mediterranean region and Serbia is one of the most northern points of the region. Its populations are self-sustaining in Serbia, and seed from one year spreads freely and grows into plants the following year.
The PEASEMAKERS project’s full title is “An interdisciplinary research on the past and present of legumes for a higher and sustainable protein production to the benefit of both Pannonian and European farmers in the future”, and Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops is a project partner to the lead beneficiary Biological Research Centre (BRC) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Szeged, Hungary.
The goal of the project is improvement of forage pea yield components and fodder and grain quality, as well as increased tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress, aiming at higher profits for farmers, positive impacts on the economy and benefits to the whole society. Creation of new forage pea cultivars for various purposes would respond to many challenges of modern agricultural production. The project is partially devoted to the expansion of alfalfa growing areal to marginal soils, as well as creation of early maturing soybean lines.