It is the great challenge of the 21st century to ensure a sufficient supply of biogenic resources to a growing world population. This concerns first and foremost food and animal feed. However, we are also facing a constantly growing need of renewable raw materials for paper making, cosmetics, paints, bio-lubricants, medicinal plants, detergents, etc., but also for the production of energy (biogas, bioethanol).
In view of climate change and a diminishing agricultural area, it is even more important to make a sustainable use of the resources that are available. At the same time, the utilization of biogenic raw materials should be made more efficient by applying sequential technologies (the concept of cascading), as done, for instance, in biogas production from waste or residual products that are not primarily intended for the production of foodstuffs and animal feed.
Plants are at the very beginning of the value chain in agriculture and forestry. They therefore assume a special role when we have to face the challenges of the future. The overall task of the JKI staff is based on this key position of the cultivated plant: to gear its research and other activities towards a sustainable, environmentally responsible crop production using state-of-the- art technologies.
The focus of our activities is healthy and productive cultivated plants. They are the first step towards food security and a growing bio-based economy and they are essential elements in our living environment.